Etailer ASOS is one of the few fashion marketers bucking the downward economic trend. Its first-half sales rose 107 per cent, to £65.7 million for the six months to 30th September, while pretax profit for the same period climbed 71 per cent, to £4.1 million. International sales soared 252 per cent, to £11.4 million, with the bulk of orders coming from Ireland, Sweden and Denmark, even though ASOS hasn’t made overseas business a priority.
That appears to be changing, however. Chief executive Nick Robertson said in a statement that “international expansion is a huge growth opportunity” for ASOS. For that reason, the company has appointed an international director: Jon Kamaluddin, who is currently finance director and will continue in that role until a replacement is found.
ASOS is also growing its product range. Having successfully introduced discount brand ASOSRed-whose sales and margin are “ahead of plan,” said Robertson-as well as a maternity offering in September, Asos is branching out into childrenswear with the imminent launch of ASOSKids.
At the end of October, ASOS was offering 19,400 product lines, up from 5,700 in October 2007. In September alone, it shipped 1.7 million orders, an increase of 82 per cent on the same period of 2007. To cope with this, as well as its planned growth, ASOS installed the Delivery Manager system from Metapack in October. This has enabled ASOS to introduce a Saturday delivery option and to cut its standard-delivery promise from three to five days to two or three days.