British web-only apparel merchant ASOS PLC Holdings reported a 36% increase in online sales, or 30% when currency fluctuations are taken into account, for the first four-month period of its fiscal 2017. A surge in U.S. shoppers buying online from the retailer helped boost ASOS’ recent performance.
The fashion destination for 20-somethings, No. 22 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Europe 500, says international retail sales soared by a whopping 52% due to a weakened pound and a reduction in the U.S. import duty during the second half of last year.
Total sales for the September-December reporting period were 605.7 million pounds ($736.3 million), a 36.3% jump from 444.3 million pounds ($540.1 million) during the same period in 2015. For total group revenue — which includes retail sales, delivery receipts and other revenues — sales rose 35.9% to 621.3 million pounds ($755.3 million) from 457.1 million pounds ($555.7 million) year over year. But the London-based e-retailer experienced the most growth in the U.S. market, up 66.4% to 82.7 million pounds ($100.5 million) from 49.7 million pounds ($60.4 million).
“Following record sales over Cyber weekend and the Christmas trading period, I’m pleased to report a strong start to the year,” says CEO Nick Beighton. “A 50%-plus increase in international sales is a standout performance. U.K. sales growth at 18% was a strong performance in a more promotional market.”
ASOS is ramping up its infrastructure improvements that include additional warehouse capacity and new automation technology to handle the anticipated sales growth for the year, which currently is forecast to be up 25-30%, in order to meet its longer-term ambitions, Beighton says.
The retailer generated 1.12 billion pounds ($1.61 billion) in web sales in 2015, up 17.6% from 952.2 million pounds ($1.38 billion), according to data on Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com.
ASOS says it has more than 85,000 branded and private-label products in womenswear and menswear. The e-retailer delivers from its U.K. and European fulfillment centers to almost every country in the world. An additional center in the U.S. functions primarily as a returns operation.
For the four-month period ended Dec. 31, ASOS also reported:
- The company’s websites attracted 139 million visits during December, up 21.9% from 114 million during December 2015.
- 15.5 million total orders shipped in the period, a 35% year-over-year increase. ASOS did not disclose the exact number for the same period in 2015 – only the 2016 growth.
- 13.4 million active customers, up 25.2% from 10.7 million. Active customers are those who had shopped with the online store during the previous 12 months. Of the most recent customer base, 8.5 million shoppers are international, with 4.9 million hailing from the U.K. ASOS reached 2 million additional international customers during the course of one year.
- Average basket value increased 2%; average order frequency climbed 6% year over year.