Asos reports slowing sales

<p>Asos has reported a rise in sales in a “challenging” environment.</p>

Online fashion retailer Asos enjoyed its strongest trading week during the cyber weekend at the end of November but has described the current environment as "challenging".

Shoppers all over the UK rushed to stores as prices were slashed on the now infamous Black Friday last month. Originally started in the US, Black Friday is the first shopping day after Thanksgiving and sees shops cut their prices dramatically. This signifies the start of a busy retail weekend with Cyber Monday coming just a couple of days later and is popular with online companies.

Asos noted that it had enjoyed a strong boost following both Black Friday and Cyber Monday but stated that sales growth had slowed. In its latest trading statement for the three months to November 30th it indicated a total sales rise of eight per cent to £246 million. Sales in the UK had risen by 24 per cent to £104 million compared to the same quarter a year ago but international sales had fallen by two per cent to £141 million.

The company admitted it had experienced "challenging" trading conditions but was still confident that its full-year profit would be "in line with expectations". While international sales remain a concern, the company was confident that it would be able to maintain a level of performance for the coming months.

Nick Robertson, Asos chief executive officer, said: "September and October were challenging as we completed the automation programme in Barnsley in time for peak. Our sales have since gathered momentum and we had our biggest ever trading week over cyber weekend in November."

Asos' operations were severely affected over the summer when a fire broke out at its main warehouse in Barnsley. The company was forced to suspend trading following the incident which police treated as arson. Asos confirmed that around 20 per cent of its stock had been affected by the fire.

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