Asos and Boohoo are relying on nearshoring their supply chains to navigate the ongoing challenges of attacks on container ships in the Red Sea.

Retail Week understands that both these fashion retailers have begun ramping up the sourcing of products from countries such as Turkey and Morocco, as well as domestically in the UK, to avoid the longer lead times and inflated prices associated with shipping from Asia, due to the ongoing situation in the Red Sea and Suez Canal routes.

While the retailers have denied they are experiencing any stock issues as a direct result of the conflicts, it is understood that they are relying on the flexibility of their supply chains, which also helped them during the Covid pandemic.

Retail Week understands that Asos uses the Suez Canal route for ocean freight shipments from Asia to Europe but that this is for long lead products rather than its trend-driven, seasonal lines.

Asos said that where it is seeing an extension in shipping times, this can be up to 10 days, but it is in close contact with its strategic logistics partner Maersk as part of the ordinary course of business.

Asos added that it has put plans into place to manage any short-term delays and that extended lead times will be factored into the brand’s purchasing decisions moving forward should the situation continue.

Boohoo has so far declined to comment on the situation.

Last month, Retail Week revealed that supplies of some of Matalan’s products are being delayed as a result of the attacks.

While Matalan did not confirm the product categories being impacted, it confirmed it was “monitoring the situation closely”.

Fashion giant Next also warned that if “difficulties” continue, disruption and delays to its UK stock deliveries were “likely” early this year.

Retail Week has reached out to Next to ask about any continued impact into the summer, but the retailer would not be drawn to comment.