Online giant Amazon launched a lingerie range on its UK site last week as it seeks to widen its fashion offer.

Amazon will stock 558 lingerie products online from brands such as Gossard, Wonderbra and Charnos.

New Amazon UK chief executive Christopher North said clothing was a key focus for Amazon this year.

“There’s an enormous opportunity there. We want our site to be the place you come to buy clothing and will be expanding our range,” he said.

The lingerie launch comes amid speculation that Amazon could be running a slide-rule over fashion etail giant Asos.

Shares in Asos rose 5% last week on the back of the speculation, but North declined to comment on Asos.

Amazon’s net sales rocketed 36% to $13bn (£8.2bn) in its fourth quarter. Its international arm - comprising the UK, Germany, Japan, France, China and Italy - reported sales up 26% to $5.7bn (£3.6bn) in the three months to December 31.

North said its grocery business, which launched in July last year, had performed well during the final quarter but insisted it was not trying to take on the supermarkets.

He said: “We’re focused on niche products. We don’t expect to be the place people do their weekly shop.”