Online retailer ASOS saw customers jump at the chance to ‘try before you buy’ with UK retail sales up 23 per cent in the last four months of 2017 to more than £300 million.
Total group revenue for the fashion giant in the four-month period hit £808.4 million as the company reported ‘exceptional performance’ in the UK coupled with a 32 per cent hike in international sales.
Speedier deliveries and the chance to try on products before buying, which allows customers to return what they don’t like and only pay for what they keep, pushed performance for the retailer with total group sales up 28 per cent.
ASOS reported ‘exceptional performance’ in the UK coupled with a 32 per cent hike in international sales
However, shareholders sniffed at its confirmation rather than upping of its profit guidance, sending shares down 2 per cent in early trading as the group predicted capital expenditure would likely be at the upper end of around £200 million to £220 million.
ASOS boss Nick Beighton said: ‘Velocity in our technology programmes continued, with a record number of releases. Our customer proposition was further enhanced in the UK with the launch of Try Before You Buy and ASOS Instant, our same day delivery proposition.
‘Following this strong start to the year, we remain confident in our full year guidance and delivery of our planned investments in infrastructure to support our global ambitions.’
International sales in countries inclusing Australia and Russia rose 32 per cent in the last four months of the year, with EU sales up 34 per cent and its US business posting a 28 per cent sales increase.
The online retailer targets the ‘twenty-something’ market, and has nabbed the spending power of trendy millennial customers
Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Laith Khalaf described the performance as ‘the kind of sales growth that traditional retailers would give their eye teeth for’.
Brands with a strong books of shops on the traditional high street have struggled to maintain sales recently, with the likes of Marks and Spencers and Debenhams failing to attract the key millennial market that ASOS has cornered.
The website, which sells fashion aimed at the ‘twenty-something’ market, attracted an extra 2.6 million active customers on a year previously and saw order numbers jump 30 per cent to 20.2 million.
The number of visits to its website also grew in December to 174 million, up from 139 million a year earlier.