EN Down
Hi, user_no_name
Live Chat
A person examining fashion design materials with colour palettes and sketches.


ASOS, one of the global leaders in online fashion and cosmetic retail, transformed the landscape of the shopping experience for young, fashion-loving people.

Since the early 2000s, the British e-commerce giant has successfully built a comprehensive platform for independent boutiques, international brands, and its creations.

Let’s look at an insightful journey of ASOS’s history, operations, financial performance, and the industry trends impacting the company.


ASOS: Redefining the world of online fashion

ASOS was launched in 2000 as “AsSeenOnScreen” by founders Quentin Griffiths and Nick Robertson to supply clothes and accessories similar to those worn by celebrities.

Over the years, with its influential business model "for the 20-somethings, by the 20-somethings", ASOS has transformed into a platform devoted to a wide range of fashion products targeted towards young adults.

ASOS's successful growth story has been consummated both organically and through tactical acquisitions. In 2010, ASOS made a significant move into the beauty market by acquiring the beauty box subscription service, Glossybox.

Also, it acquired brands like Topshop and Topman out of administration in early 2021, which further boosted its online product range for customers.


ASOS: Serving consumers and brands alike

ASOS is a global retail powerhouse that brings together over 850 brands and ASOS’s in-house labels under one digital roof. It aims to create a personalized, immersive, and convenient online shopping experience that caters to diverse tastes, sizes, and lifestyles.

The operational model of ASOS is built upon three core areas:

  • Product: ASOS offers a curated mix of clothing, footwear, accessories, beauty, and grooming products, covering a broad spectrum of aesthetics and price points. It has also significantly invested in the plus-size and so-called "curve" markets, demonstrating its commitment to inclusivity.
  • Technology: Technological innovation is at the heart of ASOS's business. The company has invested significantly in mobile technology, software development, and data analytics to drive further customization for users, leading to higher customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.
  • Customer experience: ASOS builds connections with customers through engaging content, aspirational imagery, and trend-led editorial pieces. Features such as ‘Fit Assistant’ and ‘Virtual Catwalk’ help customers to make more informed purchase decisions.


ASOS’s financial performance


Business professionals reviewing financial charts and data documents.


ASOS plc's financial journey has indeed been a tumultuous one, characterized by both remarkable highs and challenging lows. Initially, the company grappled with logistical hurdles and lacklustre international sales.

However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic marked a dramatic turnaround, as the shift to online shopping amidst global lockdowns led to a significant surge in revenues. This pivot to e-commerce during the pandemic was not just a temporary boost but represented a more enduring change in consumer behaviour.

The acquisition of high-profile, distressed brands such as Topshop is a testament to ASOS's bold and aggressive growth strategy, even amidst fluctuating market conditions. These acquisitions not only expanded ASOS's portfolio but also signified a strategic move to capitalize on the shifting tides of the retail fashion industry.

This move is indicative of ASOS's adaptability and foresight in navigating the rapidly evolving retail landscape, where traditional models are increasingly giving way to more dynamic, digital-first approaches.

Furthermore, ASOS's experience underscores the broader transformative shifts occurring across the retail sector, particularly in fashion. The changes in shopping behaviours, heavily influenced by digital advancements and the rise of social media, have led to new consumer expectations and shopping modalities.

Brands now face the dual challenge of staying relevant in a highly competitive online space while also maintaining a sustainable and responsible business model in the face of growing environmental and ethical consumerism.

ASOS's response to these challenges has been multifaceted. On one hand, it has invested in enhancing its digital platform and logistics capabilities to provide a seamless and efficient online shopping experience.

On the other hand, it has also recognized the importance of sustainability and ethical practices, incorporating these elements into its business strategy to align with the values of its predominantly young, environmentally conscious customer base.

ASOS's financial performance and strategic decisions reflect a deep understanding of the current retail environment. The company's ability to swiftly adapt to changing market dynamics, embrace digital innovation, and address evolving consumer values will likely continue to shape its trajectory in the highly competitive world of fashion retail.


ASOS share price in 2023: Adapting to market challenges and emphasizing profitability


A stock market chart showing an uptrend and trading data points.


As of December 2023, ASOS PLC has experienced significant fluctuations in its share price, reflecting the dynamic nature of its business and the broader market environment. The company's share price stood at 393.50 GBX on December 7, 2023, showing a slight decrease of 0.91% from the previous value.

This price is notably lower than the 52-week high of 1,015 GBX and a bit above the 52-week low of 320.33 GBX, highlighting the volatility the company has experienced over the year​​​​.

ASOS has seen mixed results in its recent fiscal performance. In the third quarter of the 2023 fiscal year, ASOS reported an increase in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), supported by a rise in EBIT margin and improvements in profitability per order.

The company also achieved significant cost savings and profit optimization, which contributed to its financial performance during this period. Despite a decline in active customers, ASOS maintained profitability, focusing on the profitability of sales overgrowth​​.

However, the company's sales fell 15% year-over-year in the fourth period of fiscal 2023, aligned with its guidance, but faced weaker performance during July and August due to challenging conditions in the UK clothing market.

Despite this decline, ASOS managed to remain profitable, achieving its target of approximately £300 million in profit improvement and cost savings. The company's adjusted gross margins increased, though they missed their target guidance, mainly due to lower duty and freight costs​​.

Overall, ASOS's share price and financial results reflect the challenges and strategic responses of the company in a competitive and changing market. The company's focus on improving core profitability and managing costs amid market challenges has been a key theme in its recent performance.


Industry trends and ASOS’s stance

ASOS operates in an era that is transforming the fashion retail industry. The way individuals shop, the role of brick-and-mortar stores, digital technology applications, and the increased importance of sustainability have all altered significantly.

  • Digital technology: ASOS is significantly investing in AI and AR technologies to enhance the virtual shopping experience and optimize the supply chain and inventory management.
  • Sustainability: ASOS is committed to sustainability and ethical trading. The 'Fashion with Integrity' program showcases its commitment to the environment, ethical sourcing, and creating opportunities for all.
  • Data analytics: Data has increasingly become central to making informed decisions. ASOS uses data analytics tools to get insights into customers’ buying sentiments, preferences and purchase patterns.


Navigating the future: Potential challenges

Even as ASOS has carved a prominent niche in the global online fashion landscape, it has significant challenges ahead. The company must negotiate a complex and ever-changing tax and regulatory landscape, manage supply chain risks, and adapt to evolving customer preferences and demands.


Final thoughts

Two decades after its founding, ASOS is still shaping the narrative of the online fashion retail industry. The retailer has consistently demonstrated an ability to adapt to the influencing trends and marketplace dynamics, earning it a place as a global leader.

Continuing its efforts in digital innovation, sustainability, and understanding its target market better using data analytics will be at the core of ASOS’s future strategy.

The company’s drive to keep revolutionizing and recreating the online shopping experience for its customers is crucial to solidifying its stand in the competitive online retail market.

Become a member of Markets and access a cutting-edge trading platform.

Start Trading Now


“When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.”

Related Education Articles

How to trade on the commodity of crude oil

Tuesday, 16 April 2024


How Do You Trade in Crude Oil?

Gold Standard

Monday, 15 April 2024


The Gold Standard: A Historical and Its Modern Implications

How To Apply Proper Research On Stocks

Monday, 15 April 2024


How to apply proper research on Stocks

How to open a free demo account

Wednesday, 10 April 2024


How to open a free demo account

Live Chat