Primark sells online for first time with Asos

05/06/2013

Primark has partnered with Asos, as the discount fashion retailer makes its first foray into ecommerce.

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Under the deal, Primark will sell a limited number of items online for a test period, in order to gain "insight" into online retailing.

The budget fashion retailer, known for offering budget fashion aimed at young customers, has so far avoided investing in an online presence, focussing instead on expanding its high street presence.

The Asos tests will involve a limited number of items for a temporary period, but a Primark spokesman did not say how long the trial would last for.

They said the trial would offer an "insight into online retailing".

In a statement announcing the tie-up, Asos described Primark as a "retail phenomenon".

"With their unique take on the latest must-haves and newest trends, Primark fans can get their hands on their award-winning affordable fashion, from skinny jeans and denim to skater dresses and printed t-shirts," it said.

Primark has seen rising sales in recent months, while Asos has also bucked the overall gloom in the retail sector, with total sales rising 34% to £352.3m in the six months to the end of February.

It said its websites now attract nearly 20 million unique visitors a month.

Reacting to Primark’s partnership with Asos, Venda, a leading provider of ecommerce technology to such companies as Boohoo.com, Jimmy Choo and Tesco, has issued the below on why Primark has decided to make this move into the online space and what it means for the retailer moving forward.

“Primark has recognised that even with a solid high-street proposition, neglecting the online channel is not viable for today’s retailers. While Primark will sustain a high level of focus on its bricks and mortar stores, the company realises that it must adapt its business model in line with the preferences of its consumers – who expect to be able to browse and make purchases online, as well as on the high street. However, this move into the online space may also be indicative of the company’s plans to internationalise and grow in other markets – the easiest, fastest and most cost-effective way to do so is to venture and branch out online.”

“While partnering with a hugely successful etailer such as ASOS will guarantee that their products are seen by a high volume of consumers, by not developing its own website, Primark is also leaving itself open to losing sales to other brands and products featured on the ASOS site. Diverting resources away from their own online proposition may have some initial merits, however Primark should quickly be thinking about how it can be disruptive in this space and this will rely on it creating its own individual online presence.”

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