Asos launches reassurance campaign after warehouse blaze

Asos is seeking to reassure customers that its website is back up and running after a fire at its main warehouse in Barnsley damaged stock and forced the online retailer to shut down its website for almost 48 hours.

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The site was back up and running this morning but Asos has put a message on the site apologising for the closure. A spokesperson says Asos will be emailing customers to explain what happened once it has a full police statement.

It has also been communicating with customers on social media, thanking them for their support. Asos says most orders made before the fire will be fulfilled but that it is contacting anyone whose purchases may be affected either by longer delivery times or the stock no longer being available.

However, Asos will also be looking to limit any impact to its brand caused by the event.

According to YouGov’s Brand Index, the satisfaction metric for Asos has fallen by a statistically significant amount over the past week, to 4.1 from 6.2, with a big drop occurring over the weekend when the site was down. It has also seen a hit to its impression metric and index score – a measure of a number of factors including reputation, satisfaction, quality and value.

A fire broke out at the warehouse, which houses about 70 per cent of Asos’ £159m worth of stock, on Friday evening. Asos says around 20 per cent of the stock held at the warehouse, worth around £22m, was affected by the fire.

The firm says none of the technology, automation or structure of the building was affected and no one was hurt. South Yorkshire Police are treating the fire as deliberate and have launched a criminal enquiry.

Asos is covered by insurance both for the damaged stock and the loss of sales caused by the website being shut down.

The loss of sales comes shortly after Asos warned that profits would miss forecasts by 30 per cent. It blamed the miss on a slowdown in international sales caused by the strong pound and a hit to its profit margin after it tried to boost sales via promotional activity.

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