A fire broke out at Asos’ European warehouse in Berlin in the early hours of this morning, causing an estimated £6.25m of damage to stock.
Staff emerged unscathed from the blaze, which broke out at 3am this morning.
The etailer conducted a full evacuation of the warehouse, known as Eurohub 2, and contained the fire in one of the building’s four chambers.
£6.25m damage estimated
There were two million units of stock in the area affected by the fire with a cost value of £25m. The retailer’s initial estimate was that 25%, or £6.25m worth, of stock could be compromised by fire and water damage.
Customer orders have now been diverted to its Barnsley warehouse to be fulfilled.
This is the third time one of Asos’ warehouses have been hit by a disaster.
Previous Asos fires
In 2014, its main UK distribution centre in Barnsley set ablaze in a suspected arson attack. It forced the retailer to stop trading for three days, cost it up to £30m in lost sales and triggered a profit warning.
Meanwhile, in 2005, when Asos was just five years old, its distribution centre was destroyed in the Buncefield fuel depot explosion, which was the biggest explosion the UK had witnessed since the Second World War.
The etailer had to stop trading on the stock market as the blast put it out of business for five weeks over the crucial Christmas peak.
Limited financial impact
UBS analyst Adam Cochrane said the Eurohub 2 fire may have some impact on full-year sales growth and could delay the ongoing development of the distribution centre. However, he did not think the fire would have the same impact as the previous fires.
He said: “Whilst this is unfortunate (especially given the track record with the 2014 Barnsley fire) it does highlight one of the benefits of multi-site operations as well as the speed of Asos response. The financial impact should be limited and have no impact on the Asos strategy.”
Asos said that none of the technology, automation or structure of Eurohub 2 has been affected by the fire.
The clean-up process is underway and Asos anticipates that the other three chambers of the site will be operational again within 24 hours.
It said it was fully insured for loss of stock and any subsequent business interruption.