In the article from The Seattle Times, there is a sentence like this:

But she also said it’s “incumbent” for the fashion labels to keep their sales channel “clean,” making sure in-season items don’t end up at discount sellers.

Why it use quotation marks on incumbent and clean ? And what does this sentence mean exactly in this article?


In this case, the quotes are for emphasis and to indicate that the words aren't being used in their normal sense.

Incumbent normally meaning necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility. but rather meaning that (fashion labels) are compelled to do as its right.. .

Clean normally meaning morally uncontaminated; pure; innocent

but rather a more limited not so bad removing some of the bad elements but not all.

Everything written after said was probably actually said.


When a written article is quoting actual words or phrases that were spoken (such as in an interview), quotation marks are used. As opposed to a summary or other description that the author may write. In this case the author is emphasizing the words that Amazon’s Beaudoin actually used.

The meaning is that she wants to sell all of the current inventory in the sales channel (making it clean). This avoids the situation where unsold older merchandise would have to be sold at a discount through discount sellers. This is undesireable for the fashion brands that are Amazon's customers, because discounted items compete price-wise with the new merchandise they would be selling at the same time.

Incumbent here means something imposed as a duty or obligation. She is saying they are obligated to do this as a good business practice.

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