No SOS for ASOS

asos.jpgASOS, the online fashion retailer, has always been a smart operation.When its warehouses were destroyed in the Buncefield depot explosions in December 2005 on its busiest day of the year, it lost £3.8m worth of stock, had to cancel Christmas, refund 19,000 orders and suspend the company’s share price.Unlike many, it was insured to the hilt and had a robust disaster recovery plan. When it reopened six weeks later it took a record number of sales on day one.With a record for resilience, an economic downturn wasn’t likely to see ASOS roll over and die then. Once again it has found itself well prepared, welcoming shoppers flocking to it from the high street with sales up 95% during the 13 weeks leading up to June 27.It’ll look to further capitalise on their thirst for a bargain by launching a clearance website for excess and discounted stock and offer an alternative to the roaring clothing trade on eBay.“Everyone is waiting us to take a stumble and the good news is we absolutely haven’t,” said CEO Nick Robertson today while announcing full year profits had more than doubled to £7.3m (3.4m) on turnover which increased to £81m from £42.6m in the year to March 31. Margins and average spend were also up, while its share price has tripled inside a year.Just goes to show if you get your model and proposition right, and keep one eye on what's around the corner, there's plenty of life left in retail.

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