Executive Briefings

Retailer Asos Boosts U.K. Sourcing After Pound's Brexit Fall

Asos Plc, Britain's largest online-only fashion retailer, plans to double its U.K. manufacturing as the pound's post-Brexit plunge makes domestic production more affordable.

The company, which sells own-brand fashions alongside wares from the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Calvin Klein Inc., will open more plants in Britain over the next three to four years to support its expansion plans, Chief Executive Officer Nick Beighton says. It currently makes about 4 percent of its products at two factories in London.

“There is manufacturing capacity in the U.K. but the skills aren’t quite as available as they once were,” Beighton said. Asos teaches employees stitching and garment design at an academy in a London factory.

Asos’s plans, helped by the British currency’s 15 percent decline against the dollar since the June vote to leave the European Union, provide a boost to Prime Minister Theresa May as she seeks to attract investment amid uncertainty over the terms of Brexit. Asos also said it will hire an additional 1,500 employees at its London head office over the next three years.

In October, May’s government gave unspecified assurances to Nissan Motor Co., which operates the biggest auto plant in the U.K., to persuade it to make new versions of some of its best-selling cars there. Asos hasn’t negotiated with the government over its expansion plans, the company said.

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The company, which sells own-brand fashions alongside wares from the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Calvin Klein Inc., will open more plants in Britain over the next three to four years to support its expansion plans, Chief Executive Officer Nick Beighton says. It currently makes about 4 percent of its products at two factories in London.

“There is manufacturing capacity in the U.K. but the skills aren’t quite as available as they once were,” Beighton said. Asos teaches employees stitching and garment design at an academy in a London factory.

Asos’s plans, helped by the British currency’s 15 percent decline against the dollar since the June vote to leave the European Union, provide a boost to Prime Minister Theresa May as she seeks to attract investment amid uncertainty over the terms of Brexit. Asos also said it will hire an additional 1,500 employees at its London head office over the next three years.

In October, May’s government gave unspecified assurances to Nissan Motor Co., which operates the biggest auto plant in the U.K., to persuade it to make new versions of some of its best-selling cars there. Asos hasn’t negotiated with the government over its expansion plans, the company said.

Read Full Article