As CPG sales continue to grow online, HanesBrands is leveraging Amazon Business as a way to reach customers buying in bulk.
Founded in 1901, HanesBrands has a long history of innovation, and has built some of the world’s best-known brands of apparel, such as Hanes, Champion, and Bali. A Fortune 500 company with nearly $7 billion in annual sales, the company is the number one apparel brand portfolio in the US, with 90 percent household penetration (meaning, 90 percent of households contain HanesBrands products). As the company’s sales trend toward e-commerce, it’s also prioritizing B2B growth using Amazon Business.
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, like HanesBrands, are seeing a shift to online sales as more consumers buy items online. CPG online sales in the US are growing at a faster rate than in-store: 64 percent compared to 36 percent in stores, according to a 2019 report.2 Increasingly, CPG companies are targeting the B2B space, which is growing. Forrester predicts global B2B e-commerce transactions will reach $9 trillion in 2021.4
Charlie Stack, a 20-year veteran of HanesBrands, is currently leading the B2B charge as Vice President of American Casualwear and e-Commerce for the company. According to Stack, their B2B business is experiencing double-digit growth.
“B2B is an area where we’re seeing a lot of momentum, increasing year-over-year. My primary focus is to leverage the strength of our brand recognition and quality and combine that with B2B channels such as Amazon Business,” said Stack.
“B2B is an area where we’re seeing a lot of momentum, increasing year-over-year. My primary focus is to leverage the strength of our brand recognition and quality and combine that with B2B channels such as Amazon Business."
— Charlie Stack, Vice President of American Casualwear and e-Commerce, HanesBrands
Through Amazon Business’ online store, HanesBrands has not only opened its product selection to businesses, but also gained the ability to match selection with enterprise customers looking to buy in large quantities. For example, it can provide uniform services for education or government customers, supply the needs of foodservice operations, or outfit businesses with t-shirts.
Most recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services requested that HanesBrands produce more than 450 million nonmedical masks to meet the growing demand for personal protective equipment (PPE). HanesBrands had never produced masks, and in addition to switching production from apparel to a new product category, it had to find customers that needed masks to ensure public health and reopen businesses safely.
“There was growing demand for masks, and so we decided to pursue two areas—to create our own Hanes-branded masks for consumers, and to ramp up to get masks to business customers in need, such as large employers, governments and healthcare systems,” said Stack.
One of those customers was King County in Washington State (the home county of Seattle). It needed masks to comply with a phased reopening plan. The governor had declared an emergency, and one of the many directives was to source PPE, such as masks, as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
The King County Emergency Operations Center began reaching out to potential suppliers who responded with their offers, which its logistics team consolidated and analyzed. With decreasing supply and strained supply chains, suppliers were quoting high prices with 45-50 days for delivery—falling short of the County’s goals for price and speed.
King County initially contacted HanesBrands directly as part of their supplier outreach, and learned that HanesBrands had already sold 40 million reusable cloth masks to Amazon Business. King County, a long-time Amazon Business customer, trusted that they could place a bulk order with Amazon Business to obtain HanesBrands’ masks, and meet their critical sourcing needs.
“Amazon Business not only had the lowest price of any individual supplier offer but could also get the bulk order to us much more quickly—and indeed the order of 5 million masks started to arrive in two weeks. This was a win not only to consolidate suppliers into our familiar procurement source, but was also by far the best price per unit and fastest delivery option available,” said Jared Schneider, Logistics Ordering Unit Lead at King County Emergency Operations Center.
“Amazon Business not only had the lowest price of any individual supplier offer but could also get the bulk order to us much more quickly—and indeed the order of 5 million masks started to arrive in two weeks. This was a win not only to consolidate suppliers into our familiar procurement source, but was also by far the best price per unit and fastest delivery option available."
— Jared Schneider, Logistics Ordering Unit Lead, King County Emergency Operations Center
Companies like HanesBrands are working with Amazon Business to facilitate bulk spot sales as a strategy to reach business customers looking for a guaranteed supply with reliable delivery. To meet the needs of customers buying in bulk, Amazon Business is continually adding features for bulk buys including truckload and pallet shipping options, reporting features, and increasing selection.
“This turned out to be a really successful matchmaking opportunity. We delivered 5 million masks to King County to purchase as a spot-buy through the Amazon Business store, so they could distribute throughout areas of need,” said Stack.
“Through Amazon Business, we’re able to have large-scale production with a predictable supply and demand model meaning manufacturers can access customers seeking large quantities. What we do well at HanesBrands is make high-quality casualwear products, and we look forward to partnering with Amazon Business to make these products widely available to business and public sector customers, with best-in-class fulfillment.”
1Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Services, Unit Sales, 12 months ending December 2019
2Information Resources Inc. (IRI), 2019
3Source: Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
4 Mapping the $9 Trillion US B2B Online Commerce Channel, Forrester, April 2018.
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