British E-Commerce Powerhouse ASOS Plans To “Break From Tradition In China”

Company Plans To Launch Chinese-Language Site At End Of October

ASOS will have to duke it out with dozens of local and international competitors in China

As Jing Daily wrote this past October, fast-growing British online fashion retailer ASOS has long had its eyes on the China market, with chief executive Nick Robertson saying way back in June 2011 that his entrance to the country ”is not a question of if but when.” However, details are finally starting to emerge about the Chinese-language ASOS launch, which — along with a Russian site — puts the site on target to have five major international markets by 2015. By that point, the company hopes to hit total sales of £1 billion (US$1.6 billion).

While firmly situated in the fast-fashion segment, rather than the luxury niche currently being explored in China by Neiman Marcus and many others, the move indicates that ASOS is confident in placing a bet on the young twenty-something Chinese consumer.

As CEO Robertson told FashionMag this week of the China expansion:

We are planning to launch the Chinese and Russian sites at the end of October. The Russian site will be managed from the UK. For China, however, we are going to break with from tradition by implanting an independent structure – complete with its own logistics centre and stock – which will manage the site.

In terms of product offering, we are going to approach the market prudently, starting with around 5,000 compared to over 60,000 currently available elsewhere in the world.

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Fashion, Industry Sectors