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Asos fire damage 'hits autumn 14 deliveries'

Concerned brands have told Drapers that Asos has been downsizing some orders and delaying deliveries from suppliers as the fallout following a fire at its Barnsley warehouse in June continues.

In an email Asos sent to a number of its brands last month, two weeks after the fire, which was seen by Drapers, it said handling damaged stock and repairing the warehouse was “taking longer than originally anticipated” and was having “an impact on the level of inbound stock that [it] can currently manage”.

It continued: “Therefore, we will need to delay some deliveries over the course of the next few weeks.”

Brands have told Drapers the problem is now affecting the delivery of autumn 14 stock to the etailer.

It is not known how many brands have been caught up in the move. When contacted by Drapers Asos insisted that it is now “accelerating its new-season intake.”

One head of UK for a menswear brand said the delivery of his autumn collection is now being delayed. “Asos initially put back spring 14 deliveries following the fire but now it is reducing and putting back autumn 14 commitments.”

He continued: “They are not accepting next season’s orders, even though the PO [purchase order] had already been sent out and they are adjusting orders downwards. Luckily Asos isn’t our biggest account so it won’t put us under, but for a smaller brand it could be savage.”

Another brand owner said: “It’s happening to a lot of people; they are downsizing and trying to get out of their commitments. The delivery of my stock has been delayed and they are also trying to do a stock swap, as it’s very late for spring 14 collections to be going in.”

One brand agent who deals with Asos added: “They are delaying taking in deliveries and they are cancelling orders. Our brands haven’t been affected, thankfully, but it is happening elsewhere. The warehouse [fire] has caused a lot of problems for them.”

The fire, which forced the etailer to halt trading for two days, took hold on Friday June 20 at 9.50pm at the distribution hub on Park Spring Road in Grimethorpe, Barnsley. Police believe the fire was started deliberately. Asos keeps about 70% of its stock at the depot; in total, the business held £159m of stock at cost as of May 31.

However a spokeswoman for Asos countered the claims made by the brands and said: “As you will see from the site, we are in final spring summer clearance currently, while also accelerating our new-season intake to recover from the fire; all essential activity to ensure we are in the optimum position to launch autumn 14.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • We felt an initial impact but everything is back to normal now. Maybe it is an excuse to reduce the orders of the brands not doing so well !

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  • Have the Police made any arrests? This whole episode still seems very fishy to me.

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