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Asos to launch international etail sites

Asos chief executive Nick Robertson has outlined his plans to launch dedicated standalone websites in the US, France and Germany after revealing international sales will reach more than £40 million this year - equivalent to Asos’s total turnover just two years ago.

Speaking at stockbroker Arbuthnot Securities’ etail conference last week, Robertson said Denmark, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland generated the highest levels of conversion to sales among Asos’s international markets, but the US, France and Germany had the biggest growth opportunities.

Robertson said: “International will become a very significant part of Asos going forward. Between three and five target markets will have their own dedicated websites, with different front ends bolted onto the back end. Everything else, like shipping, will come out of the UK.”

He added he would also introduced fixed shipping rates on the US site to help drive conversion rates.
Nick Coulter, analyst at joint house broker Numis Securities, said international sales represented 20% of the group’s £165.4m annual sales. Asos posted a 303% rise in international sales to £32.3m for the year to March 31 2009.

Coulter said: “The potential for international [growth] is phenomenal given Asos hasn’t done any marketing and the business is already that size. There is nobody out there like Asos. International has the potential to be bigger than the UK.”

Dom McBrien, New Look ecommerce director, also spoke at the conference. He said the young fashion chain, which has seen internet sales rise 250% in the year to date, would open up its site to European markets this August.

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