Asos is to launch a new value line as it aims to emulate Primark’s success in low-cost fashion.
The low price range will be named Style Steal and will launch “soon”, according to the online retailer’s chief executive Nick Robertson.
“We see the power of Primark and that price point. Why wouldn’t we look to introduce Style Steal, not across all the range, but on key fashion lines throughout the season,” he said.
Robertson said lowering prices was the most important thing it had done over the past year. It has lowered womenswear prices by 9% which he said kept its hard-hit younger customers loyal.
The retailer suffered a sharp sales growth slowdown at the end of 2011 when UK sales remained flat. The price adjustment has helped buoy UK revenue, which jumped 26% to £137m in its half year to February 28, 2013.
The retailer began its assault on the Russian market this week, with the launch of a country-specific website five months ahead of schedule. The launch precedes its Chinese debut, which is on track for October, where it will begin trading with only 10% of its full range. Robertson said it will take four to five years for all of its products to move onto the Chinese site.
Along with international growth, Asos is also improving its UK returns service by partnering with ByBox, a provider of delivery lockers with over 500 locations nationwide in sites such as supermarkets, shopping centres, high streets and petrol stations.
The Asos boss said that he was not threatened by online giant Amazon’s fashion push. He said Amazon will not dominate in categories such as young fashion, where brands and style are important. “If you’re a cool, sexy brand and you end up on Amazon, you won’t be a cool, sexy brand. We give brands an alternative and the ability to keep their cool while still being on a mainstream platform,” he said.
Robertson also said the retailer, which focuses exclusively on twentysomethings, would consider launching a new site for an older target audience.
Asos’ pre-tax profit surged 18% to £27.2m in the half year to February 28, 2013, as retail sales soared 34% to £352m.