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Asos lifts sales, active users

In the four months to December 31, Asos recorded total retail sales of £446.9 million, up 22 per cent on the corresponding period. UK sales jumped 25 per cent and international sales increased 20 per cent.

According to its trading statement released last week, Asos had 10.7 million active customers as of December 31, up 18 per cent on the previous year.

“We had record sales over cyber weekend in late November and have seen further growth in average order frequency, average basket value and number of orders, alongside an acceleration in active customer growth to +18 per cent,” said CEO, Nick Beighton.

The deployment of a zonal pricing tool helped boost international sales, however retail gross margin declined by a net 40bps.

Andrew Hall, a consultant at Conlumino,  the UK retail research and consultancy firm, said the online retailer was on a strong footing entering 2016. 

“Asos has been able to leverage fast fashion credentials and online expertise to take advantage of the Black Friday promotional event and respond to unseasonable weather in the UK,” said Hall.

“Its inherent flexibility has enabled the online pureplay to achieve £206.2 million in domestic sales, with growth exceeding last year’s tough comparative, as consumers were able to shop for fashionable, weather appropriate products owing to its extensive offer – a significant feat as its high street counterparts have struggled.”

In the rest of the world segment (ROW) – which excludes UK, US and EU – sales grew just 2 per cent.

“Declining margins, a result of price investment, represents work to do for the retailer in 2016, likewise a malaise in ROW growth reflects a blinkered investment strategy which focusses on the UK, Europe and US all of which delivered double digit growth in comparison. However, if anything this reads more of a to-do list than a stumbling point to Asos’ ongoing success,” Hall said.

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