September 20, 2009 in City

Amazon ventures into electronics accessories

Retailer launching private label line
Rachel Metz Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – Consumers visit Amazon. com for deals on products from companies ranging from Apple Inc. to Zenith Electronics Corp. Now the online retailer wants shoppers to check out stuff that carries Amazon’s own brand name, too.

Seattle-based Amazon is beginning to sell a line of electronics accessories called AmazonBasics this weekend. It includes audio and video cables, computer networking cables and blank DVDs.

Amazon would not give price details ahead of the launch, but Paul Ryder, vice president of consumer electronics, said the items will cost “significantly less” than similar products on the site.

Amazon already sells its Kindle electronic reading device, along with a variety of products under private label brands. For instance, it offers a line of outdoor furniture called Strathwood and home and garden items that carry the Pinzon name.

In choosing the name AmazonBasics, Ryder said, the company hopes customers will associate it with high-quality, low-price items.

It’s common for retailers to offer their own private-label products alongside brand-name ones: The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for example, sells goods under its Great Value store brand.

BWS Financial analyst Hamed Khorsand doesn’t believe Amazon’s private-label goods will really contribute much to its sales in the long run, though.

“I think they’re just trying to have their own brand out there as more marketing than anything else,” he said.

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