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Can Startups Help Fashion Brands Battle Amazon?

Can Startups Help Fashion Brands Battle Amazon?
Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

When it comes to online shopping, fashion retailers feel your pain. They have to cope with the high rate of returns, the price pressure, the ease of comparison shopping, the lure of free shipping. That may explain why startups in the first New York Fashion Tech Lab, which wrapped up last week, peppered their presentations with references to Helping retailers compete against the e-commerce giant was a factor in why many had been picked for the 12-week accelerator program created by venture capital firm Springboard Enterprises and the Partnership Fund for New York City.

The eight startups, chosen from a pool of 127 applicants, were paired with such companies as Kate Spade, J. Crew Group, Macy’s, Li & Fung, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren. “The retailers chose who they wanted to work with,” says Maria Gotsch, the chief executive of Partnership Fund. “Those who filled a gap were more likely to stand out.”