ASOS Turnaround plan continues - I think it's doomed

I worry about Asos a lot. They used to be a high-flying example. What happened here? I am not as close to UK Retail.

Had no real focus. Were developing their own brand of clothing to compete with NastyGal etc. But more expensive? They acquired poorly - Topshop (Arcadia brands) - were a pseudo marketplace and invested heavily in operational capacity overseas - too slow and too wide. Lost focus on their core. Whilst that was happening, the brand was irrelevant and in discount for 3 years solid


Asos also went through a heavy talent churn phase.


Still churning across the entire business I believe, and most of the talent is in/near London, so can rotate to other similar retailers: Primark, John Lewis, Tesco, Sainsbury, New Look, River Island, Ted Baker, Frasers, Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Dune, Boohoo, etc. Many of the offices are within 1-2 miles of each other.

Biggest Asos problem I believe is overbuying stock in the last 2-3 years (including onboarding stock via Arcadia acquisition–bearing in mind some of the Arcadia brands went to Boohoo, and their plus size brand going to an Australia based plus size retailer, probably just for the ability to get extra inventory to sell contra-seasonally in the southern hemisphere and a website).

As a result, Asos is “encouraging” all brands that it buys wholesale to move to marketplace dropship model.

Personally I wonder if the exit will be a trade sale to, e.g. Shein, who is wanting to expand.


Good points and nothing I disagree with. The brand has lost relevance also. Would you buy their clothes? (Over priced) Buy the company (over priced). ?? @Miles_Thomas

I’m not exactly target demographic for Asos’ clothes. And yes I think the company is overvalued and not that exceptional apart from having more of an international focus (might be a buy for Shein).

The better company in an increasingly similar space (proposition for customer and B2B partners) is Next; the growth play in a similar space in the UK is Frasers.

(Personally, I tend to buy vintage pieces from eBay, I find it tends be less costly and often better quality even if used. Underwear/socks from supermarket).

Agree, I wrote in my piece that Next paved the way - better partner selection rather than acquire distressed brands (who had also ran their course).