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Asos ditches kidswear to focus on core customer

Multi-brand etailer Asos is axing its kidswear offer to concentrate on its core young fashion market.

Asos, which sold kidswear brands including Ralph Lauren and Little Joules alongside its own-label kidswear collection, said it would drop the category from the end of the year to focus on growing its adult business.

Asos product and trading director Rob Bready said: “As part of a continued focus on building the adult fashion area of the business, Asos will cease trading its kidswear division at the end of 2010.

“This will enable the company to focus its resources of both the team and infrastructure into the key growth areas - trend-led product for a fashion-driven customer between 18 and 34 years old.”

Asos debuted kidswear on its site in 2008 but the branded market has since suffered declines at the expense of fast-growing own-label kidswear offers, particularly from the value sector and supermarkets such as George at Asda. Marks & Spencer and Next have also reported strong market share gains within the sector. Meanwhile, high street kidswear specialist Adams has struggled to gain a solid footing, having been in and out of administration three times in the past two years.

Kidswear indies were pleased a strong competitor planned to exit the market.

Danny Shelvey, co-owner of Liverpool premium kidswear indie Kids Cavern, said: “Asos tried to grab a slice of kidswear but will have realised that it can’t make good enough margins.”

Abbie Hallett, director of premium kidswear indie Monkey Business in Pinner, north London, added: “It’s tough for online-only kidswear retailers in the designer market because parents want to try clothes on their children first.”

Kidswear essentials

+4%

Total sales up to £1.85bn in 24 weeks to June 20

-4%

Branded kidswear dropped to £389.4m in the period

+6%

Own-label kidswear sales up to £1.46bn in the period

Source: Kantar Worldpanel Fashion

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