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Published 15 October 2012 04:42, Updated 16 October 2012 12:34
ASOS’ offering of cheap and on trend clothes aimed at young fashion lovers has struck a chord with Australian shoppers.
Global online fashion retailer ASOS says high local prices and the reach of the internet has helped Australia become its second-largest market after the UK, with sales of close to $140 million in the past year.
“The local market now is the size our whole UK operation was about four years ago,” ASOS founder and managing director Nick Robertson says. “It caught us completely by surprise.”
The company was establishing itself in North America when it noticed a spike in sales from Australians. “We diverted our attention down here, introduced free global shipping and it took off.”
ASOS has been selling to Australians since 2009 and launched a customised local website a year ago. At the start of the year, Robertson recruited former
Big W executive Sally-Anne Newson to head the local operation, which employs five staff. Last week, Robertson was in Sydney to host a world-first preview of its summer and spring collection, which is the first major marketing exercise the business has undertaken here.
“Five years ago we would have had to spend a fortune marketing just to establish ourselves in any new market,” Robertson says. “If you consider how pricing in Australia has been out of kilter with the rest of world and overlay that with the internet becoming so accessible and trusted, customers were happy to vote with their feet.”
Robertson expects the ASOS business – cheap and trendy clothes aimed at young fashion lovers – will double in Australia in the next two years.