Amazon Said to Make Sportswear Push in Industry-Jolting Move

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Credit: Amazon Inc. is enlisting some of the biggest athletic-apparel suppliers as part of a foray into private-label sportswear, according to people familiar with the matter, setting the stage for further upheaval in an already-tumultuous industry.

Makalot Industrial Co., a Taiwanese vendor that produces clothing for Gap Inc., Uniqlo and Kohl's Corp., is making apparel for the Amazon line, a person with knowledge of the arrangement said. Eclat Textile Co., another Taiwanese supplier, is contributing to the effort as well -- a relationship first noted by SinoPac Securities Corp. analyst Silvia Chiu.

The project is new and long-term contracts haven't been signed yet, according to people involved. The manufacturers are producing small amounts of products for Amazon as part of a trial, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the effort isn't being promoted yet.

Amazon has previously ventured into private-label fashion, offering office clothing, jackets and dresses under names like Goodthreads and Paris Sunday. But pushing into activewear would bring fresh competition to some of the world's biggest athletic brands.

Eclat's involvement is especially noteworthy because it makes clothing for Nike Inc., Lululemon Athletica Inc. and Under Armour Inc. and has key expertise in making high-performance sportswear.

Shares of Lululemon fell as much as 4.9 percent to $57.55 after Bloomberg reported on Amazon's sportswear efforts. Under Armour declined as much as 2.8 percent. Nike also slipped, through its shares recovered, trading up 0.1 percent at $50.86.

Amazon, based in Seattle, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

—Bloomberg News

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