Asos boosted by young trendies

Fashion retailer Asos has waved a legging in the face of the downturn. Celebrity, it seems, is recession-proof.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Sales at Asos increased 118% year-on-year for the nine weeks to 16 January, and the retailer, which sells cheap versions of celebrities' gear, announced profits for the year will be ‘in line' with expectations.

It shows that it will take more than a mere recession to stop young people's desire to ape celebrities. Roughly half of Asos' customers are under 25, and therefore tend to have more cash to fritter away on non-essentials, like vain attempts to look like their favourite stars. Christmas's biggest seller at Asos, or As Seen On Screen as it was originally known, was black high-shine leggings - as seen adorning the likes of Kate Moss.  

Chief exec Nick Robertson pointed to his company's strong foundation: ‘We are the two things that are faring better at the moment: the internet and younger fashion. We tick both the boxes.' By last week, Asos had 1.2 million active users, up 112% on a year ago.

But it's not just online fashion retailers who are doing well. While Next and M&S had a Christmas to forget, at the less fashionable end of the high street, discount clothes shop Matalan reported a decent Christmas - posting a 5.9% rise in like-for-like sales. Indeed, if you're not going to capture the under-25s, by combining online retail with celebrity stylings, it seems the next best thing right now is to offer clothes on the cheap.    

Not that it seems particularly expensive to pull off that celebrity style. Judging from those gracing today's tabloids, the next big look could be Madonna's, which seems to involve simply stapling two sheets of plain foolscap across your chest; or perhaps pulling on a massive pair of pants and giving yourself a wedgie - a trick favoured by current number one Lady Gaga. Glamorous stuff.

In today's bulletin:

President Barack Obama's poisoned chalice
Deflation worries grow - but RBS bounces back
Burberry downsizes as progress checked
Asos boosted by young trendies
Editor's blog: The problem with British cars

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