Asos Marketplace has seen sales surging since lockdown measures were introduced in the UK, aided by an expanded list of sellers and a shift to online retail.
The online platform for independent boutiques has seen surging demand from vintage sellers looking to join, as many bricks-and-mortar traders were forced to embrace e-commerce to continue generating revenues.
About 80 new boutiques joined the platform in April, an increase of close to 100% on last year. These include Truman Markets, the world-famous market situated on London’s vintage hotspot Brick Lane, which launched a virtual market supporting its fashion traders.
To make Asos Marketplace more attractive for small fashion businesses, the firm waived its monthly rental fee for new and existing independent retailers during the lockdown.
Jo Hunt, head of Asos Marketplace, said: "We’ve always strived to use [it] to support and foster young, independent fashion boutiques and talent, helping them grow their businesses and at times even move over to the main Asos site.
“Now more than ever, we’re grateful we can use our platform to assist fashion traders and boutiques that would otherwise normally rely on foot traffic, and we’re incredibly excited both to be partnering with the world-famous Truman Markets to bring its sellers on board and for what the future holds for Asos Marketplace.”
The strategy has borne fruit. The enhanced offer, coupled with the temporary closure of clothing stores, led to strong sales and increased web traffic during April and May.
Sales reflect the impact of the “Stay Home” message on customers’ wardrobes, with a surge in demand for loungewear across the country. Sales of jumpers rose dramatically, up 421% year-on-year, while womenswear hoodies and sweatshirts also proved popular, up 119% and 166% respectively.
Customers have also been taking the opportunity to stock up on socks, particularly trend-led tie-dyed versions, with sales up 1,418% compared to last year.