Amazon crafts new section for 'Handmade' goods in Europe
US online retailing giant Amazon rolled out across Europe on Thursday its section where it features hand-crafted products sold directly by artisans.
More than a thousand European artisans have joined Handmade, where they can present their wares on the e-commerce website as well as explain their craft and the unique properties of each object.
Amazon emerged as a force in online retailing by allowing consumers to compare and shop for goods across a number of suppliers who compete fiercely on price.
But with Handmade, first launched last year in the United States, Amazon entered the more genteel segment of consumers looking for quality, hand-crafted, and unique items instead of mass-produced goods rolling off factory assembly lines.
Handmade was also a direct challenge to New York City-based Etsy, an e-commerce website devoted to personally crafted and vintage items.
It features a number of different sections such as jewelry, handbags and artwork, but also allows users to search for artisans in different areas.
"Selected artisans must meet specific conditions in terms of production of their objects and the size of their firm" in order ensure objects are in fact mostly hand-crafted, Patrick Labarre, who heads up Handmade in France, told AFP.
Handmade is now available in some 40 countries.