Barnsley DC set to drive to ASOS international growth
ASOS says its new Barnsley warehouse is on schedule for commissioning next Spring.
Speaking at the announcement of the half year results, chief executive Nick Roberston said the Barnsley project was key to the success of the online retailer’s international expansion.
The retailer now has web sites in four major markets (UK, US, France and Germany) and says it is increasing activity in a number of other markets including Australia, Ireland, Denmark and Russia.
“The business is undergoing a transformation as we focus our efforts and resource on our international expansion,” said Robertson. “Our customer base is now a global pool of fashion followers in their twenties, as opposed to a UK only pool. The UK represents approximately three to five per cent of global internet traffic.”
ASOS is investing £20m in ProLogis’ 530,168 sq ft Crossflow 530 building in Barnsley. It will have an initial sales capacity of £600 million. “Fully fitted, it will give us capacity for over £1 billion of sales,” said Robertson.
“Our technology platform is also key to our future expansion plans and we are currently undertaking a number of key projects to support the back-office, international sites, capacity and resilience. We are also investing in a new Buying and Merchandising system, to be introduced in 3 stages and fully implemented by May 2011,” said Robertson.
“We plan a centralised operation with responsibility for all key business functions staying in the UK. Where required, specifically in certain areas of product, local marketing and returns, small in-country teams or third party providers will be used. This gives us the speed and flexibility to establish ASOS quickly but also, importantly, retain central control as we expand,” said Roberston.
The group said retail sales in the first half, at £131m were 50 per cent up on last year while operating profit was up 61 per cent at £7m.