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Asos losing young shoppers to high street discounters

Asos boss Nick Robertson has blamed the etail giant’s sharp slowdown in UK sales on younger shoppers being driven from the web to the promotion-rife high street.

“Twentysomethings have been hit much, much harder,” he said. “Promotions are all over the high street. I’m sure that’s where they are heading to get bargains.”

Robertson expected the promotional landscape to continue and predicted that Christmas would be “underwhelming” for Asos.

Although the etailer expects to follow suit and use discounting during the festive period, Robertson pointed out that it would not apply this strategy indefinitely.

Over the three months to September 30, domestic sales inched up 1% compared with a 15% surge in the first quarter. The Asos boss had expected UK sales to slow but said the slowdown had come “harder and quicker” .

International sales continued to soar, by 141% over the quarter and 53% year on year, taking overall group retail sales to £106.7m.

Asos is planning to capitalise on its strength in China, already a top-six country through Chinese customers using its UK website, and will launch a country-specific site within 18 to 24 months, Robertson added.

He expects international, which now accounts for 58% of its business, to be close to 90% within three years.

Payout over ‘copied’ Topshop sandals 

Asos is understood to have paid damages to Arcadia Group to put an end to a legal dispute over copyright infringement.

The payment follows a claim by Arcadia that it had copied the design of a pair of gladiator-style flat sandals which were designed by Topshop’s in-house team.

The sandals went on sale in Topshop in April before a similar pair appeared on the Asos site, under the etailer’s own label.

The out-of-court settlement has avoided a potential legal battle between Topshop owner Arcadia, owned by Sir Philip Green, and the online retailer.

A source said the payout was “at least five figures”. Asos has also withdrawn the sandals in question from sale. Asos and Arcadia declined to comment.

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