Originally standing for As Seen On Screen, the main difference between ASOS and their competitors is that they have no physical presence – with the business coming purely through their online store at ASOS.com.
Orders are managed mainly through their warehouse in Barnsley, while ASOS also has offices in both Camden and Hemel Hempstead.
Despite only being founded at the turn of the millennium, ASOS has quickly developed into being one of the most influential retailers in the country.
As consumers have moved away from the high-street and have become more comfortable with purchasing goods online, ASOS have become the UK’s largest independent fashion and beauty seller. Consistently outperforming main rival Topshop in terms of internet sales, their success has seen various brands try to replicate their formula – with Boohoo.com perhaps being the most notable in that respect.
Selling around 850 different brands ranging from Primark to Yves Saint Laurent, ASOS have also become renowned for their own signature range of affordable clothing for both men and women. Primarily aimed at people in their 20s, the company have tried and failed to branch out into other markets – their Little ASOS brand for toddlers was phased out little over a year after being introduced in 2009.
ASOS have proved to be forward-thinking in many departments – as well as publishing their own magazine for regular customers, they allow third party independent designers to sell their own products through ASOS marketplace in a similar manner to eBay or Etsy, taking a commission on every item sold.