The rise of e-commerce figures heavily in to our debate around old retail vs new retail. Online stores naturally lend themselves more to the latter, but to be fair their model isn’t new: they’re simply the catalogue shops of old made digital. Having an online store doesn’t put a company automatically in the ‘new retail’ segment of the market – we all know of companies who have implemented their e-commerce strategy atrociously, and such companies are firmly in the old retail model.

One company that is firmly new retail in their approach is Asos who are intent on capitalising on the perceived lack of industry push in Australia by opening a dedicated Australian Asos store this year.

As today’s The Australian reports:

Before Topshop opens its doors in Melbourne in December, Britain’s biggest online clothing store will launch a dedicated Australian website at the end of September, and it may be enough to win the retail war. By the way, it’s not Net-a-Porter.

Asos.com has been the quiet online achiever since launching in 2000, developing an international following that makes it bigger than its luxury shopping rival. Figures provided by Asos show annual turnover at ₤340 million ($531m) compared with Net-a-Porter’s ₤230m ($359m).

The popularity of sites such as Asos in Australia goes a long way to explaining why retail is having such a tough time in this country. With the Premier Retail group last month announcing plans to close 50 stores from its portfolio, which includes Just Jeans, Portmans, Jacqui E, Peter Alexander and Dotti, the impact of shopping online is obvious.

 

The figures behind Asos’ business and their push into Australia come from a longer feature piece on the online retailer which can be read online here.

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