‘Asos must up marketing as sales slow’

Asos has reported a significant slowdown in UK sales for last year prompting analysts to warn that it must improve its marketing to maintain its strong position in the UK as competition from rivals increases.


Total UK sales increased 7% for the full year to £197.9m. In the previous year, Asos reported a 25% rise over the full year to £184.1m.

Despite a 63% rise in international sales to £77m during the quarter and a 103% increase over the full year to £283.7m, this fell slightly below analyst expectations.

Total group sales increased 34% to £124.2 during the quarter and 49% year-on-year to £481.6.

International sales now account for 59% of total Asos sales.

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Conlumino, says Asos will need to up its marketing game to retain its strong position in the UK after reporting growth below the rate for online fashion sales in the UK.

“Part of the reason behind this [slowdown] is the intensification of competition in the online fashion with both physical retailers upping internet standards and players like eBay launching their own propositions. Against this backdrop, Asos will need to work harder on the marketing front and ensure it remains sufficiently differentiated in terms of products and collections,” he says.

In March, Asos promoted its strategist Terri Westlake to lead global marketing on an interim basis following the departure of former global marketing boss Clare Dobbie who took up a role at Hobbs.

She is responsible for brand and digital marketing and advertising, including content creation, communications, PR and CRM.

Nick Robertson, Asos CEO, says that the online fashion retailer is committed to its global expansion strategy and is confident about the coming financial year.