UK online giant to open in China

British online fashion retailer, Asos, is expanding in the Chinese market with plans for a standalone website to launch next year.

The tailored website, which currently has free shipping to 160 countries, would be priced in local dollars, have tailored editorial content, and offer local returns for faster turnaround. Prices will remain the same as currently on the UK site.

Asos recently launched standalone websites in France, Germany and the US, leading to international growth up 167 per cent on the previous year.

“We knew early on the enormity of the growth opportunity abroad and that our customers wanted their own ASOS experience,” said Nick Robertson, CEO of Asos.

Robertson founded the site 11 years ago with three employees. Today, the business employs over 1500 staff and posted sales of 325 million pounds (AU$507) last year.

International business now makes up over half of this turnover, with Asos also launching further standalone sites in Australia, Spain and Italy in 2011.

The site now attracts over 13 million unique visitors per month, has 5.8 million registered users, and 3.5 million active customers. It also has almost one million fans on Facebook and 175,000 followers on Twitter.

Robertson said the site’s success was due to it offering something that bricks and mortar retailers can’t – unrivalled breadth of choice.

“We’re more than just an online shop. Our aim is to be an online destination for all things fashion,” he said.


There are over 50,000 branded and private label products on the site across womenswear, menswear, and accessories tailored to the 16 to 34 year old market.

Asos – an acronym for ‘as seen on screen’ – originally started out producing its own house label, but has also grown to include a host of other labels, such as Diesel, American Apparel, and Sass & Bide.

The Asos brand now accounts for half of its business, with about 1500 new product lines across all categories introduced each week.

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