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Nordstrom purchases stake in four apparel brands owned by U.K. fashion house Asos in a bid for younger shoppers

Nordstrom purchases stake in four apparel brands Asos

July 13, 2021: -On Sunday, Nordstrom said it had acquired a minority stake in four apparel brands owned by the online U.K. fashion house Asos.

The brands such as Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and the activewear label HIIT all target younger consumers in their 20s. The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Nordstrom President and Chief Brand Officer Pete Nordstrom said he views the collaboration to redefine the business model of a wholesaler, like Nordstrom, who works with a retailer. He expected it to open up the possibility of more partnerships in the future.

However, Asos will retain operational and creative control of the Topshop brands, Nordstrom will be having exclusive retail rights for Topshop and Topman all over North America.

“Bringing the Asos brands, which include Topshop and Topman, to our customers allows us to create newness and excitement,” Pete said.

The department store has been the exclusive distributor of Topshop and Topman in the United States, continuing from 2012. Nordstrom will be the only brick-and-mortar location for these brands globally.

From this fall, customers will also be able to pick up online orders from Asos at all Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack locations, the companies said.

Asos acquired Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT in February. The brands were put on the block after Arcadia Group, the British retail empire run by the billionaire Philip Green for 18 years, filed for bankruptcy protection late in the previous year. Lockdowns initiated throughout 2020 because the pandemic dealt a massive blow to Arcadia, which operated hundreds of stores. Asos, meanwhile, had an online-only business model.

Nordstrom is looking for ways to keep its current customers coming back frequently to shop, also to reach out to people who have never visited its stores or website before. It has an opportunity to come out of the pandemic to do so, especially as many people head back to work and back to school and require new wardrobes.

The company hopes that by exclusively offering Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT, Nordstrom will be able to reach a younger generation of shoppers who have growing spending power.

It could use a boost, too. Nordstrom has to surpass its pre-pandemic revenue. For the three months ended May 1, its sales were down 13% relative to 2019. Elevated labor and shipping costs, and supply chain disruptions, have added further pressure on its business.

Nordstrom shares are up around 15% year to date. The company has a market cap of $5.7 billion.

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