UK: Frasers making another interesting move

Man those lads have some cash to splash… and ALWAYS when the asset is distressed. This year alone, House of fraser £90m, Missguided 20m, Evans Cycles £8m, Jack Wills £13m.

interesting – what do you think this means for asos going forward?

They are negotiating a £350m refinance with their bank. If that goes through it gives them runway. but to what. They have been deep in discount for a time now. COVID bought them a window. But in the 2 years up to that, they were in discount for about 18 months. >50% off all the time. That leaves them in tricky water … As a brand they will struggle to remove their consumers onto full price. It would be interesting to get in on margin per brand and service offering. Theie own brand clothes are buyable anywhere, and cheaper. I have a prime shipping account and forgot until now !

They have the constituent parts to take on Farfetch for aspirational fashion - Frasers group clearly expect it to get worse and are investing in a really challenged brand. Remember Top Shop? Yeah, neither do too many others. Check out the inbox image !! Not pretty.

Can’t take on aspirational fashion at 50% off unless you are into resale… This is not good for them.

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Anything that Mike Ashley owns has not given me confidence… Frasers will be okay and are picking up assets at discounted rates. Sorry, @vinny - I can’t replicate your enthusiasm.

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I am in your camp here. It is like death vultures circling. I think ASOS are in trouble. Their brand and business model are so confused that is hard to see how recovery is possible at this point. Mike Ashley has only one way of operating.

Where can I read more about Mike Ashley?


The Hut Group (THG) Founders grew from a similar busienss model. We took them on in the early days at eBay as a client and they had bought (formerly amongst others, but this was their MO.

Speaking of topshop, the BBC has a two part documentary on their rise and fall. Available in the uk on the BBC Iplayer, unsure if you can access some other way outside the UK.

When the Arcadia group went under, Asos bought some of the brands, Boohoo bougt the rest and the nearly new mechanised warehouse in the UK. Plus size brand Evans went to an Australian plus-size brand. And the flagship London Topshop store on one of the quadrants of Oxford Circus and Regent street (the former Robinsons department store, who started the Toshop brand) is being part leased to Ikea (Nike and Vans were already tenants and they continue). Pretty prime location although Oxford Street has struggled of later for prime retail.


In recent news (although pre-Christmas): Next group has rescued Joules from administration, and Next also is now GAP’s sales channel in the UK.

Next operates a marketplace/concessions channel (online and instores) as well as selling their own product, and is competing (successfully) in the same space as Asos.

At some point Zalando will make a proper push in the UK, I think. Zalando so far as avoided mass distribution capability in the UK (likely because of the operational complexities of BrExit). Next, Zalando and Frasers will put ASOS under pressure; Primark online Click & Collect is also likely to hurt ASOS. (Primark won’t ship to home, but now allows you to reserve store stock.)


Do you think Zalando will partner with UK retailers on distribution directly? Or prefer to go their own way? @Miles_Thomas

Zalando will work with large brands but not with UK retailers

Zalando works with New Look, a good size UK retailer (just launched). Product not available in all Zalando countries but is for most of continental Europe

Zalando probably would do their own distribution in the UK. They have quite unique processes and software so are less likely to want to work with a 3PL or another retailer.

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