New Look and Asos had contrasting fashion fortunes today as the former’s profits took a pounding while the latter ploughed ahead with expansion.

New Look’s boss Anders Kristiansen blamed difficult UK trading conditions for the retailer’s first-quarter like-for-like sales and underlying operating profit tumble.

The beleaguered fashion retailer’s boss said it is aiming to reduce its “dependence on the UK high street” and has opened 17 new stores in China during the period.

The retailer has also said it will be focusing on providing a more experiential bricks-and-mortar offer to drive sales.

However, at a time when shoppers purse strings are tight and the sector is crowded, one wonders if monogrammed jeans are going to cut it in turning this fashion retailer’s flagging fortunes around.

By contrast, a retailer that has sidestepped a debilitating UK store habit altogether is Asos, which has unveiled plans to open a Stateside distribution facility today.

The etailer is ploughing $40m (£31m) into the fulfilment centre, which is slated to be open for business next Autumn.

Also today, Sainsbury’s revealed plans to boost pay for 135,000 of its store staff and Pets at Home posted a rise in first-quarter sales.

Quote of the day

“This agreement is a major step forward for Asos in the US and demonstrates the opportunity we believe lies ahead in this key market.”

– Asos boss Nick Beighton

Today in numbers


The rise in UK retail like-for-like sales last month, according to BRC-KPMG figures.


White Stuff’s full-year retail sales, up 4.9%

Wednesday’s agenda

Keep an eye out for our exclusive look inside Shop Direct’s new London hub and data uncovering the UK’s disposable income goldmines.

Grace Bowden, reporter