Roger Hardy, who in February sold web-only eyewear company Coastal Contacts for $385.7 million, will consolidate OnlineShoes.com and ShoeMe.ca.
Through a new digital storefront, Amazon stocks activity trackers, smart watches and wearable cameras.
Amazon.com Inc. today launched a digital storefront dedicated to web-connected wearables. Wearable technology includes items that allow wearable objects—watches, bracelets, glasses—to harness the power of computers. Think: Google Glass and Fitbit activity trackers.
“Wearable technology is an exciting category with rapid innovation, and our customers are increasingly coming to Amazon to shop and learn about these devices,” says John Nemeth, director of wireless and mobile electronics at Amazon. “We’re thrilled to bring our customers a store with the largest selection and great prices that helps eliminate the guesswork when deciding which wearable devices best fit their needs—whether that is tracking activity, staying connected through smart watches or capturing their next adventure with wearable cameras.”
Amazon’s store is split into several verticals—fitness and wellness; health care devices; wearable cameras; smart watches; and family, kids and pets—and features such brands as Samsung, Jawbone, GoPro, Basis, Misfit and Bionym. Because the category is new for many consumers, Amazon, ranked No. 65 in the just-released Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is supplementing the store with a “Learning Corner” that features detailed buying guides, comparison tools and educational videos.
The new store debuts as U.S. consumers are warming to wearable technology. In September 2013, one in 10 Americans over age 18 owned an activity tracker, according to a survey from consulting firm Endeavour Partners. One in four Americans age 25-34 owned an activity tracker. At the same time, 72% of U.S. consumers say they have no intention of buying Google Glass, according to a survey from research firm Toluna.
But some investors are betting that many consumers will find these products appealing. Companies that make wearable technology attracted $458 million in venture capital funding in 2013, according to CB Insights, a research firm that tracks venture capital.