Online fashion retailer Asos has confirmed plans to launch a new virtual marketplace where customers and small independent businesses can sell clothes through the site.

The launch will happen later this year and will also be a channel for larger companies and brands to get rid of excess stock.

Marketplace offers have become big business online with EBay founding its business on customers and small sellers offering their goods and players such as Amazon and running their own virtual marketplaces.

Asos chief executive Nick Robertson said: “This is an exciting extension to Asos’s existing customer offer which makes perfect sense in today’s market. This is a sellers’ platform. We will start simply and continually improve the platform over time. Our sellers will shape its future.

“With this initiative, we are able to offer both individual and corporate customers an additional channel to sell their fashion merchandise in an environment, and in front of a customer, that is all about fashion.”

Customers who put their clothes online will be offered advice from Asos about how to display their items to achieve maximum selling potential.