AS SEEN ON… A-LIST CELEBRITIES

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Today’s papers are filled with the news that ecommerce fashion hero ASOS is suffering a demise. Apparently, it’s no longer the ‘market’s favourite outfit’ as shares have plummeted by a third, knocking £1.2billion off its value.

The group has confirmed that a change in strategy – driven by the strong pound – will see it slashing prices for non-UK customers and relying heavily on less profitable sales to British shoppers.

What’s interesting about this as a marketer is how a brand from such humble beginnings grew so rapidly in the first place. And, of course, philosophising about what its next move will be.

Looking at ASOS’ (formerly known as ‘As Seen On Screen’) history is like studying a ‘guide to online retailing for dummies’ as it’s so formulaic, not to mention well-planned.

Launched in 2000 as a place for young women to snap up their celebrity idol’s copycat looks, it soon became the number one shop for fashionistas looking for a wide variety of brands all under one roof. ASOS now lists over 850 names, with stores such as River Island and New Look at one end of the spectrum, to vintage Chanel handbags at the other.

Moreover, a complete 180-degree shift has occurred, as A-listers are now being papped wearing ASOS styles to showbiz events. None other than America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, was pictured wearing one of its dresses on the campaign trail in 2012, seemingly completing the online retailer’s fashion circle.

So, what is ASOS’ secret? In truth, it’s nothing revolutionary – rather it’s down to a team of high quality designers, buyers and stylists delivering a fast turnover of the latest trends. Its grade A customer service, offering fuss-free returns and up-to-the-minute support via its dedicated Twitter account – @ASOS_HereToHelp – goes a long way to securing its loyal fan base of savvy shoppers.

Is the so-called demise something to fear, then? Judging by the number of ASOS-shaped parcels received at Peppermint Soda HQ alone, I’d say it’ll be just fine.