Fashion etail giant Asos expects overseas sales to overtake its UK division in the next quarter as it plans to launch “a handful” of new international websites over the next 12 to 18 months.
Chief executive Nick Robertson said he had recently travelled to China - one of the fastest growing retail markets - but would not confirm whether the region would be one of Asos’ new launches.
Robertson said the etailer was “focusing its time and energy” on international and said he expected that the US, which currently accounts for 6% to 7% of Asos’ business, will in time overtake its UK division, which accounts for 56% of Asos’ revenue currently.
International sales rocketed 156% to £43.7m in the three months to December 31, bolstered by the launch of US, French and German websites in October and the free global shipping offer it introduced in the run-up to Christmas. Overseas sales now account for 44% of Asos’ business, compared with 37% in the first half.
Group sales jumped 59% to £100m over the period, with the UK up 23%.
Asos said it may raise prices this year in light of the VAT increase and rising inflation, but added that rising production costs would not be an influence, unlike fashion retailers Next and Shop Direct, which have said prices would increase because of rising costs.
Robertson said: “We’re different. We’re not seeing a noticeable rise in costs. The rate in which we are growing means we are increasing orders by 50% to 60% each year. That puts us in a very strong negotiating position with suppliers.”
Asos is launching a fully integrated Facebook shop on January 27, meaning shoppers can buy without leaving the site.
It is the latest innovation from the etailer, which expects to launch its Fashion Finder site, which allows shoppers to view the latest trends and includes products from other websites, in “the next few weeks”.
Robertson said Asos Marketplace, which debuted in November, had started small but was “accelerating at a great pace”. The site, which allows independent retailers and designers to sell their wares, currently has 25 live boutiques.