‘Asos ticks the boxes for success in turbulent times’

George MacDonald

Online fashion trailblazer Asos’ trading update this week was a sparkling exception that proved the generally dismal rule that the retail industry right now is under the cosh as never before.

While Asos has particular advantages in a Covid-blighted environment, it also displays strengths applicable across the industry. They are prerequisites of retail success today – and probably tomorrow.

Asos stumbled 18 months ago when it issued a stream of profit warnings that some thought would cost chief executive Nick Beighton his job. But its star looks as if it is safely in the ascendant once again.

While industry sales have gone into freefall, Asos’ are up. Where profits have evaporated, at Asos they will come in at the top end of expectations. While some survive on furlough cash, Asos is repaying what it took from the government.

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