Amazon branches out into own-brand electronics
Online megastore Amazon is to undercut its regular suppliers by branding electronics accessories under its own name.
AmazonBasics will initially offer a range of cables and blank media, but it's hard to imagine that the retailer will be content to stop at that. HDMI cables, Ethernet cables, blank CDs and DVDs are pretty dull fare, but everyone needs them.
What is interesting is that Amazon will source the items from the same manufacturers who supply the companies who already sell the items through the online store. Some wailing and gnashing of teeth is to be expected amongst their number.
"We saw an opportunity to create a line of consumer electronics basics that combine quality and low prices for an overall focus on value," said Paul Ryder, vice president of Consumer Electronics for Amazon. "We drew on our history of developing other private-label brands and combined that with our mission to give customers the ultimate in selection and value. AmazonBasics is the result.
"We will continue to gather input from customers and evaluate opportunities for new products under the AmazonBasics brand. We aim to offer our customers as wide a selection as possible and we think AmazonBasics makes a great addition to the brands we already carry.
"We think there's an opportunity to provide really good quality and additional value in terms of lower prices than some other products we see in the market." Ryder added that, by sourcing products directly, Amazon can cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to customers.
"I'm sure some vendors of cables and blank media are going to ask us what happened. We'll educate them that we saw value available… and wanted to give that value to customers."
This will no doubt be a great consolation to existing Amazon vendors finding their offerings undercut by AmazonBasics products.
Ryder said he expected AmazonBasics to expand into more consumer electronics eventually, but said expensive items were some way off. But be in no doubt - Amazon is hardly likely to hold off from offering its own brand TVs, laptops and so on for very long. The range is available in the US now and will appear on other sites around the world over the coming months.