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Web refuseniks put their future at risk

Where is the customer going to shop? Where is the growth going to come from?

These are the questions exercising a lot of fine minds in the fashion retail market at the moment. This week Asos and N Brown, both businesses rooted in online shopping, reported stellar growth against a market that is anecdotally writing off the worst April in a decade.
Online retail isn’t going to be the answer to all ills for fashion retailers, but it’s clear that shoppers are embracing it and that if you haven’t started to consider how your business should be approaching the issue, you are way behind the times.

Nick Robertson, chief executive of Asos, is talking about investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in developing his online store’s technology so that web pages will be personalised for every customer who logs on (see News, page 8) This is a market that is moving fast. To understand it you have to keep in touch with where the leading players are going and work out how you should adapt to make sure your business stays the course.

It is just six months since Drapers held its first ever one-day conference on online retail. Just like you we are trying to keep pace with the market by bringing you another event on June 12 at London’s Mayfair Hotel. I’m delighted to say that both Nick Robertson of Asos and Alan White, chief executive of N Brown, are speakers. Other retailers and brands sharing their experiences include Peacocks, Liberty, Figleaves, Lipsy and Charles Tyrwhitt.

This time we have split our afternoon session so that independent and multiple retailers can get the maximum benefit from the event. For more details and to register, log onto or call 0845 056 5755.

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