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At Amazon's new 'Luxury Stores,' you can't buy anything unless you're invited

Amazon is expanding its workforce, hiring 100,000 new employees to support a surge in online shopping amid the ongoing pandemic. CNN's Matt Egan reports on what that means for small businesses.

Posted: Sep 15, 2020 6:21 PM
Updated: Sep 15, 2020 6:21 PM

Amazon is launching high-end fashion luxury stores -- but if you want to buy anything, chances are you'll need to get in line.

The "Luxury Stores" program launched Tuesday as a "store within a store" experience currently available to only select Amazon Prime members in the US. You can shop only if you're invited, and while you can request an invitation, there's already a wait list.

For customers, Luxury Stores will offer Amazon Prime members features like a "View in 360 feature" on the Amazon app. It also includes exclusive access: Amazon partnered with the Oscar de la Renta brand for its launch, giving Luxury Store shoppers early access to the late designer's pre-fall and fall/winter 2020 collections, which are currently only available at the fashion house's own boutiques and website.

And for the company partners, Luxury Stores will allow established and burgeoning high-end fashion brands "to independently make decisions regarding their inventory, selection and pricing."

While Oscar de la Renta is a recognizable name in the fashion world, Amazon will also be partnering with "emerging luxury fashion and beauty brands," according to a press release.

The launch comes at an interesting time, as there is less demand for high fashion while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to change the way we live. The luxury store concept was "inspired by feedback from Prime members who want the ability to shop their favorite luxury brands in Amazon's store," Christine Beauchamp, president of Amazon Fashion, said in a statement.

Amazon has ramped up its hiring efforts during the pandemic. The company is hosting a Career Day on Wednesday, and has 33,000 roles available with compensation packages averaging $150,000. The company also announced that it's hiring 100,000 people for $15-per-hour jobs.

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