ASOS on course for celebrity status as it closes on £1bn sales

Online fashion retailer ASOS is on track to hit £1bn in annual sales a year earlier than expected thanks to strong demand for fast-changing fashion from its younger customers.
Rhianna pulls in the crowds at the Stadium of Light.Rhianna pulls in the crowds at the Stadium of Light.
Rhianna pulls in the crowds at the Stadium of Light.

The group, which copies the look of celebrities such as singer Rihanna and model Kate Moss, focuses on internet-savvy twenty-somethings. Its customers include singer Rita Ora and US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Founded by chief executive Nick Robertson, the great grandson of tailor Austin Reed, the group said there is no sign of growth slowing.

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UK online sales are rising around 14.4 per cent year-on-year, according to researchers Kantar Worldpanel, a massive increase on the 2.1 per cent rise in total UK retail sales in August.

ASOS now has more than seven million customers, up from five million this time last year.

The brand reported a 47 per cent rise in total sales to £208m in its final quarter to the end of August.

Mr Robertson said it was a “strong finish to the financial year”, with annual sales up 40 per cent to £754m.

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“We expect profit before tax for the year to be marginally above expectations,” he added.

UK sales for the latest quarter were up 49 per cent to £74m, while international revenues leapt 47 per cent higher to £134m, including a 73 per cent increase in the European Union.

ASOS, which stands for ‘As Seen on Screen’, was founded in 2000 to target fashion-conscious young people by trying to emulate the styles of their favourite celebrities.

It was targeting £1bn in sales by 2015, but it looks like it could hit this target a year early.

Earlier this year, it announced a tie-up with Primark, allowing the fashion chain to sell clothes on the internet for the first time.

ASOS has a £40m warehouse in Barnsley.

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