Groundbreaking fashion e-tailer Asos may open stores to complete its multichannel offer.

At the Drapers conference this week, Asos chief executive Nick Robertson said that his ideal future for the business could involve flagship stores, but they would be limited to key spots nationwide. “We need to stop talking multichannel retail, because retailers need to follow the customer,” he said.

Robertson said that, instead of a traditional store, a better fit for Asos would be a bricks-and-mortar store where customers can pick products in-store and have them delivered to their homes. He said a store presence may also help e-tailers with returns. “Delivery and returns are becoming an increasingly competitive issue [for e-tailers],” he said.

Robertson told Retail Week: “It illustrates the changing face of retail that a company like Asos can even contemplate a retail outlet – together [with online], it could be the perfect retail offer.”

This week is set to be the e-tailer’s biggest yet, because it expects weekly sales to hit£3 million for the first time.

According to data from Hitwise, Asos is the second biggest online clothing retailer after Next, with a bigger market share than However, last month, the online market research company found that high street retailers had received more visits to their sites than pure play e-tailers for the first time outside Christmas.

Numis retail analyst Ramona Tipnis said: “Sometimes, a few stores can help to increase and improve your target market.”

Other e-tailers have opened stores after establishing their brands online, such as Toast and Boden. Tipnis warned that this strategy is only successful if stores are kept to a limited number. “It would make sense for Asos to go down this route if it feels it has saturated customers for its online offering, but it should not go too big,” she said.