Online Apparel Retailer Asos Defies Brexit Woes

At least one UK-based retailer is bucking the trend of retail gloom from the country’s Brexit: online apparel seller Asos. For the four months that ended June 30, 2016, Asos’ sales climbed 30%, to £203.1 million, and CEO Nick Beighton projects that full-year sales growth will be “at the upper end of the 20% to 25% range,” according to a company statement.

One effect of the Brexit — the decline in value of the British pound — actually has been a benefit for Asos, since the retailer pays for most of its clothing in pounds rather than dollars or euros. This is unusual for a UK-based retailer, according to Bloomberg.

Another factor in Asos’ success is the company’s willingness to use a range of technologies, including:


Mobile: 66% of sales already come from mobile, and CEO Beighton projects that mobile will account for 90% of sales by 2020, according to reporting in the Telegraph;

Social media: Asos targets its Millennial shopper base with campaigns on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, and live video sharing via Periscope; and

AI and voice recognition: “We are now working on various investments such as developing our own artificial intelligence and voice recognition,” Beighton said in the Telegraph article. “We want a ‘Siri on steroids’ to inform customers when a dress is back in stock.”

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