Fashion pureplay ASOS is reporting strong growth during lockdown, with sales up 10% to more that £1 billion for the four months to 30 June 2020. It has also seen its customer base rise by 16% to 23 million.
The growth, however, has largely come from outside the UK, with EU sales up 22% and rest of the world growing by 19%. In contrast, UK sales declined by 1% and those in the US by 2%.
However, for the 10 months to 30 June, UK sales have grown 11%, those in the US by 13% and EU by 22%. As a result, the retailer has strong cash reserves.
The retailer is pledging to repay the UK government’s furlough support money off the back of the strong results.
At the start of the lockdown, ASOS saw sales drop by a fifth and was forced to take government help to furlough staff. However, sales have picked up in April, May and June driven by a rapid growth in ‘lockdown wear’ of casual clothes.
The company has shown agility in refocussing its product mix in response to this sudden change in demand. It also managed to do this against a backdrop of growth in ’lockdown’ categories being held back by availability as health and safety measures were implemented across the product supply chain.
Nick Beighton, CEO, comments: "This has been a tough time for all businesses, but we have remained focused on doing the right thing for our people and our customers and making sure that we emerge from the current crisis as a stronger and better organisation. I am particularly proud of the resilience, flexibility and creativity the ASOS team and our business partners have shown.”
Beighton adds: “Our performance in P3 shows that we are delivering against this aim despite the tough economic and social backdrop. We have learnt a lot and adapted quickly, and ASOS finishes the period with improved underlying profitability. While we remain cautious about the consumer impact of Covid-19 looking forward, we are on track to deliver strong year-on-year profit growth and to return to positive free cash flow for the full-year."