ASOS plc (/ˈeɪsɒs/ AY-soss)[1] is a British online fashion and cosmetic retailer. The company was founded in 2000 in London, primarily aimed at young adults.[2] The website sells over 850 brands as well as its own range of clothing and accessories, and ships to over 200 countries from fulfilment centres in the UK, US and Europe.[2]

Despite deprecating its original meaning (AsSeenOnScreen[3]), ASOS is still written as an uppercase acronym; the exception to the rule is the new logo designed by Ben Lewin in 2008, where it is stylistically shown all in lower case.

ASOS' headquarters are in Camden Town, at Greater London House. As of 2013, their main fulfilment centre is in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, where they employ 3,000 workers.[4][5] The customer care department is based in Leavesden, near Watford, in southwest Hertfordshire.[6]

ASOS plc
Traded asLSEASC
FoundedJune 3, 2000
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Key people
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Beauty
RevenueIncrease £2.4 billion (2018)article
Number of employees
4386 (2018) statistics Limited


2000–2004: Founding and listing

ASOS was established on 3 June 2000, by Nick Robertson[4] and Quentin Griffiths. In 2001, ASOS was admitted to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange.[7] In 2003, ASOS shareholders agreed to change the names of AsSeenOnScreen Holdings PLC and AsSeenOnScreen Limited to ASOS plc and Limited. In 2004, the company reported a maiden profit, with sales almost doubling in its first half.[8] In 2004, ASOS introduced their own label for women clothing.[8]

2005–2012: Development

In 2005, the Buncefield Fuel Depot explosion led to the closure of the business for six weeks and £5m of stock was lost.[9] In 2008, ASOS debuted kidswear on its site, however the branded market subsequently suffered declines at the expense of fast-growing own-label kidswear offers. In 2010, ASOS announced it would no longer offer kidswear, to concentrate on its core young adult fashion market.[10]

In the final quarter of 2010, ASOS launched three international online shops in France, Germany and the US. In September 2011, they launched three more sites in Australia, Italy and Spain.[11] In 2012, ASOS opened its first international office in Sydney, Australia, followed by an office in New York.[12] Later on, the company launched its first drama-game show series, called #DIGIDATING, starring AJ Odudu. It was billed as an Internet dating show with backstage drama.[13]

2013–present: Global expansion

In 2013, ASOSs opened its first office outside the South East, in Birmingham.[14] Later in 2013, ASOS recalled belts contaminated with radioactive cobalt-60,[15] ASOS Russia and China were launched in the same.[4] In 2014, a fire in their Barnsley warehouse caused them to stop taking orders for almost three days.[16][17] In 2015, ASOS has over 4,000 employees and is the UK's largest independent online and fashion beauty retailer.[18] During the 2014 Formula One season, ASOS was a sponsor of the McLaren Formula One team.[19][20]

In September 2016, an investigative report from Buzzfeed News alleged poor working conditions at ASOS' warehouse. However, company spokespersons contended that the isolated complaints reported in the Buzzfeed article were not reflective of the general working conditions there.[21]

In 2017, workers continued to report that they often worked without regular breaks.[22] Furthermore, issues have been brought to light in regards to worker exploitation and minimum wage conditions.[23]

Digital Marketing

In November 2009, ASOS claimed a ratio of one Twitter follower to eight Facebook fans to 100 active e-mail subscribers. Their 2008 report pointed out that nearly 10% of sales could be directly attributed to email marketing.[24]

In 2017 ASOS launched a campaign intended to take full advantage of the 'Instagram Stories' feature, encouraging users to upload videos of purchased ASOS products. 3 million people interacted with the video in the UK.[25] ASOS uses the #AsSeenOnMe hashtag and any use of the hashtag adds the photos to an ASOS online database.[26]

As of March 2018 A mobile app which has been downloaded 10 million times allows users to upload images of clothing they like and the app will then suggest matching or similar items that the company stock. ASOS claims that in the UK 58% of purchases happen on mobile devices.[27]


  1. ^ Wang, Connie; Marinelli, Gina (19 March 2012). "29 Of Fashion's Biggest Mysteries, Solved!". Refinery29. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b "About ASOS". Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  3. ^ "From AsSeenOnScreen the world's number one fashion destination for 20-somethings". Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Young, Vicki M. (30 October 2013). "WWD CEO Summit:'s Nick Robertson Looks to the Future". WWD. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  5. ^ ASOS sees significant growth Archived 29 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine OneHydra
  6. ^ "ASOS office building fit for 'Millennial' generation wins office awards". Watford Observer. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  7. ^ Richard Fletcher (2014-06-06). "Darling of the dotcoms was a born survivor". The Times. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
  8. ^ a b "The timeline of - Telegraph". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  9. ^ Card, Jon. "Growing Business Success Stories – ASOS". Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "ASOS profits jump 41pc on international expansion". The Daily Telegraph. London. 2 June 2011.
  12. ^ Kollewe, Julia (5 June 2014). "Asos timeline: from tiny startup to dressing Michelle Obama". The Guardian – via
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Enda Mullen (2013-04-01). "Fashion chain ASOS opens up in Birmingham". Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  15. ^ Simon Neville (2013-05-27). "Asos pulls belts in radioactive scare". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  16. ^ Scott Campbell (2014-06-21). "ASOS fashion warehouse "badly damaged" in fire". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
  17. ^ "ASOS status monitoring". Retrieved 2014-07-03.
  18. ^ "ASOS". Business of Fashion. Archived from the original on 21 August 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  19. ^ "ASOS join McLaren sponsors for Australian GP". Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  20. ^ "The History of ASOS". 2016-09-29. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  21. ^ Spary, Sara; Silver, Laura (2016-09-16). "The Real Cost of Asos's Fast Fashion". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  22. ^ Butler, Sarah (2017-04-04). "Asos chief says warehouse conditions are 'great' despite complaints". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  23. ^ Stevens, Ben (2017-08-21). "Asos and New Look bosses warn of "ticking timebomb" in UK factories". Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  24. ^ Chaffey, Dave (2010). "Applying organisational capability models to assess the maturity of digital-marketing governance". Journal of Marketing Management. 26:3-4 (3–4): 187–196. doi:10.1080/02672571003612192.
  25. ^ "Great Work: ASOS on Instagram Stories". Creative Review. 18 December 2017.
  26. ^ Hobbs, Thomas (20 March 2017). "Asos on why digital must be a balance between mass reach and targeting". Marketing Week.
  27. ^ Milnes, Hilary (14 August 2017). "How Asos gets 58 percent of customers to buy on mobile".

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons


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