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Co-founder Asos: “High street is over”

What a customer wants to buy shouldn’t be dictated by where he lives. That’s what Nick Robertson, CEO and co-founder at Asos, told the audience at WWD Ceo Summit. He also thinks the high street is no longer the sole arbiter of fashion where choice is limited. “The high street’s presence is being democratized. Twentysomethings have better things to do than go to the high street.”

Asos, founded in the United Kingdom in 2000, has more than 20 million unique visits a day and more than 30 percent of those visites are from a mobile device. The company is primarily focused on the twentysomething consumer. It doesn’t matter if they are men or women, as these both spend the same amount of time online. About 40 percent of their fashion budget is also spent online, says Robertson at wwd.com.

Asos as one-stop shop for 20-somethings
“A woman has ten to twenty brands in her closet,. If she’s online, is she going to go to ten to twenty websites?”, Robertson asks. He thinks when the customer wants a brand, he shouldn’t have to be dictated by the brands that are available based on where that person lives. According to Robertson the world’s largest brand is in their pocket. While Asos does sell its own brand, it also has partnered with different retailers to sell their products. Asos this way can be seen as a platform that can serve as a one-stop shop for twentysomethings.

Asos profits rise by 23 percent to €65 million
Although he thinks the high street is no longer the sole arbiter of fashion where choice is limited, he acknowledges the fact that digital is ‘highly complex’. “Few have cracked it. Fewer have even made a profit”, he says while this month it became known that Asos has seen its profits rise by 23 percent as it’s now 64.58 million euros (compared to €52.54mln one year before). Much of the profits will be invested back in the company, with 124 million euros due to be spent on projects over the course of the next two years. Total revenues were up by 39 per cent to 908 million euros.

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