While it is still early in the relationship, Carter's expects Amazon to be one of the brand's largest wholesale customers over the next five years.

Carter’s wholesale division has long sold exclusive infant and toddler apparel lines to retailers like Walmart and Target.

Simple Joys Carter's for Amazon Prime

But until this year, it had never had a relationship with a digitally native brand. That changed in April when it added Amazon to the mix with the launch of its Simple Joys by Carter’s line. The line is exclusively available to members of the retail giant’s Prime loyalty program. Carter’s also began selling a narrow assortment of bundled items, such as a two-pack of pants, available to all shoppers on Amazon, and it began selling OshKosh B’Gosh on Amazon in July.

While it is still early days in the relationship, the retailer and manufacturer expects Amazon to be one of Carter’s largest customers over the next five years, Michael Casey, Carter’s CEO, said during a recent earnings call.

Already the brand’s sales on Amazon are generating “great growth week over week,” says Julie D’Emilio, executive vice president of sales.

It took about five years for the Carter’s and Amazon agreement to come together, in part because Carter’s didn’t want to disrupt its wholesale division that’s been growing 25-30% online every year.

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But over the past year, Carter’s realized it couldn’t put off working with Amazon much longer—particularly since third-party sellers were already selling Carter’s products on the site, D’Emilio says.

“Amazon is where people are searching for products,” she says, pointing to a 2016 Bloomreach survey that found 55% of consumers use Amazon as their primary source when searching for products online. A December 2016 Internet Retailer survey similarly found that 52.5% of adult online shoppers start their searches on Amazon.

To mitigate its existing wholesale customers’ concerns about Carter’s working with Amazon, the manufacturer differentiated the products it sells on the retail giant by offering unique product bundles and Simple Joys by Carter’s, which aims to appeal to millennial shoppers looking for a “modern and fresh” look, D’Emilio says.

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Carter’s initially was concerned about Simple Joys being available only to Prime members. But recent data, such as an October estimate by securities research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners that Amazon had 90 million Prime members as of Sept. 30, helped relieve any anxiety, she says. “We believe Prime is the growth path for Amazon and this large base of loyal customers are who we want to reach,” D’Emilio says.

Carter’s is No. 105 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500. Amazon is No. 1.

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