Nordstrom president and chief brand officer Peter Nordstrom said that Asos’ concession in the famous American chain could be the silver bullet it needs to be front of mind for US shoppers.

Nordstrom Men's Store NYC exterior - Courtesy of Nordstrom

“There’s such an opportunity to take this cool brand that’s highly coveted by 20-something customers and well known by them,” Nordstrom said in a fireside chat via livestream at NRF 2022 in New York.

”If we can get it going, I think its going to be a really big deal.”

Nordstrom has made a number of strategic partnerships over the last few years, including its one with British ecommerce giant Asos in July 2021, as well as sportswear retailer Fanatics, underwear label Skims, and sustainable brands Everlane and Reformation.

The joint venture included the department store chain taking a minority stake in Asos’ Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands, which it acquired out of administration in February last year. 

“We welcome the chance to work with new brands, it’s a fun part of the job,” Nordstrom added.

“What we offer is that we have a lot of high-quality customers, and brands can get in front of them without having to spend on the marketing to acquire new customers.”

Topshop leads the way

In its most recent results, Asos’ US retail sales grew 18% over the year to August 31, 2021, with the Topshop brand leading the way. The American market accounted for 16% of total Topshop sales over the period.

Asos identified the US as a major strategic focus during its Capital Markets Day in November 2021.

Chief operating officer Mat Dunn laid out plans to localise the retailer’s offer to the US market, improve local operations, grow its assortment and invest in marketing.

The Nordstrom deal will help to grow brand awareness of Asos and Topshop in the US, which the retailer said was low at 25%.

Nordstrom explained: “The perfect scenario for us is to have a well-known, highly sought-after brand that you can’t find in a lot of places - we’re good at making a known brand, bigger and better.”

“In my career, I’ve been asked why we would carry brands that have their own channels - they’re the competition, so why would we do that? 

“The fact is that customers don’t look at it that way - they want to buy their favourite brand at their favourite store, so it’s a win-win for everyone.”