Primark trial a success for Asos

Asos sales rose 45% in past three months. Picture: Asos
Asos sales rose 45% in past three months. Picture: Asos
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Online fashion darling Asos has reported “phenomenal” demand for Primark products in the first week of its tie-up with the discount clothing retailer.

Analysts expect the arrangement, which has seen the high street chain sell clothes via the internet for the first time, to provide a boost to both companies, driving customers to Asos while giving Primark a long-awaited digital shopping channel.

Unveiling another set of solid trading figures yesterday, Asos founder and chief executive Nick Robertson said: “The response has been phenomenal. Clearly there’s a very high demand for Primark products among our customer group; and with the internet increasingly the preferred channel of purchase, those customers are missing out if Primark isn’t online.”

The deal to sell selected ­Primark items through the website is for a temporary period but analysts believe it could raise the retailer’s international profile. When rival New Look launched on Asos last year, it rapidly became one of the online group’s best-selling brands.

Asos, which targets young fashionista aiming to emulate the designer looks of celebrities such as Nicole Scherzinger and Cara Delevingne, reported a 45 per cent surge in total retail sales to £194 million in the three months to the end of May, helped by demand-boosting price reductions on own-brand products.

There was a 48 per cent year-on-year leap in international sales while business generated in the UK was up by 39 per cent – the strongest showing in four years.

The firm, which has some 6.5 million customers, has refocused its marketing, trimmed price tags and offered free delivery and returns.

Robertson said that the international business now accounted for just over two-thirds of total sales.

“We continue to see stronger growth in those countries where we have dedicated websites and in-country teams, notably in the US, France, Germany and Australia. Our dedicated Russian website launched on 1 May,” added Robertson.

Stewart Baxter, director of Mesh Marketing, said the results bore “testament to Asos’s continued masterclass in e-tailing”.

He added: “For now, Asos is still leading the pack in discovery shopping.”

Shares in the group have jumped by some 150 per cent over the past year.

Keith Bowman at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers said: “The group’s progress shows no signs of abating, with the significant rise in the group’s share price remaining justified.

“For now, whilst the debate between ‘bricks and clicks’ is ongoing, Asos continues to place significant daylight between it and many of its rivals.”