Asos: trendier than a sequin jumpsuit

Asos sales were up 38% in the last four months of the year. Online retail is so fetch.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 01 Apr 2015

Sales at Asos surged in the last four months of 2013, both in the UK and internationally – yet more proof that online retail is the gift that keeps giving.
 
The online fashion retailer’s sales were up 38% compared with 2012, rising 37% compared with 2012. The EU certainly isn’t all debt and misery either – sales were up a whopping 69% and Asos plans to open a central European distribution centre later this year.
 
Asos, which gets 60% of its sales outside the UK, ended 2013 with 7.9 million active customers, up 41% on last year. The company also said its ‘retail gross margin’ rose by 90 basis points, which it attributed to ‘tighter stock control’.
 
Chief exec Nick Robertson put the growth down to ‘better delivery options, additional payment methods and the roll out of our premier service in key international markets’. But while every company obviously wants to say how it is uniquely great, online sales are increasingly in fashion for all retailers.
 
John Lewis, one of the winners this Christmas on the British high street, saw click-and-collect sales jump 60% year-on-year in the five weeks to December 28. Next also had a jolly festive season. Its Directory sales – which include telephone purchases (although MT isn't sure who buys clothes over the phone these days...) – were up 21% in the November 1 – December 24 period, while total sales rose 11.9%.
 
Even Debenhams, which issued a shock profit warning on December 31, experienced a boom in online sales, which were up 27% for the 17 weeks to December 28. The struggling department store, which Sports Direct took a stake in yesterday, did admit though that the online bonanza had been ‘less than anticipated’. Bah humbug.

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