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George.com claims title of fastest-growing UK online fashion retailer, as parent company Asda focuses on multichannel

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George.com has become the UK’s fastest-growing online fashion retailer, its parent company Asda has said.

The news, based on Kantar data, came as Asda reported its fourth quarter and full-year figures as part of a trading update from parent company Walmart.

George.com, which currently sees 60% of its sales in the UK ordered through Click and Collect services, will also expand delivery overseas, with the news this week that it will ship to 24 countries by this July. The growth follows a pilot in the Republic of Ireland and will see Luxembourg, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain become the first European shoppers outside the UK able to shop the full George catalogue.

The move follows George’s launch of pilot standalone franchise stores in the Channel Islands and the Middle East.

“Our international growth strategy is focused on three key areas: franchising, online expension and leveraging our relationship with Walmart, using their existing stores to sell George UK products as well as their own ranges,” said Andrew Moore, chief merchandising officer for George and general merchandise.

He added: “Multichannel provides a significant platform for growth. The rise of our Click and Collect service gives shoppers the flexibility to access our ranges even through our smaller format stores.”

Multichannel also saw strong growth across the Asda business. The supermarket said online sales had grown by 18.8% in the final quarter of its year, the 14 weeks to January 5. During that time like-for-like sales across the company rose by 0.1%, including petrol. Over the full year, like-for-like sales were up by 1%.

More than half of the shoppers who buy general merchandise online from Asda now use its Click and Collect service, the company also said.

Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said he was pleased with business performance, and reaffirmed his commitment to customers to invest in quality at every day low prices and to reflect the new way of shopping via mobile and click and collect.

“Our multichannel, George and general merchandise are all performing well,” he said. “We have seen online clothing sales growing faster than the market, with our biggest online Christmas ever.

“But this is no time to be complacent. It’s likely to be a challenging and uncertain year ahead and so we will continue to focus on the customer and adapt the business to their needs. By doing this, I’m confident we have a strong business that can drive growth in a sustainable way.”

Find out more about the development of Asda’s Click and Collect strategy at our annual expo. Saeed Anslow, development director (home shopping) at ASDA Stores, will be keynote speaker in the Operations and Logistics conference at IRX 2013 on March 21 at 10.30am. Click here for more information.

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