Following last month’s acquisition of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT by Asos, the former Arcadia brands will now be able to benefit from the online pureplay’s superior reactivity to trends, popularity among young consumers, and expansive global reach, after having undoubtedly lost their fashion authority in recent years.
Asos has already taken great strides towards giving the brands the revivals they desperately needed with impactful social media marketing and plans to introduce more inclusive ranges – and it must ensure that it continues to invest to prevent the brands from becoming overshadowed within its vast offer.
During February, Asos doubled the number of Topshop and Topman products available on its website, and plans to extend this even further to around 10,000, enabling the brands to carve out more of a presence on the platform. It has also sensibly concentrated on promoting Topshop and Topman’s jeans ranges, which have become staples among young shoppers due to the variety of styles and fits, recently launching social media campaigns centred around these products, which will encourage more consumers to visit its site and drive impulse purchases.
However, since the athleisure trend has caused jeans to lose popularity in recent years, with demand falling even further during Covid-19 as shoppers prioritised comfort at home, Asos should also focus on promoting other hero products for the brands, such as day dresses and jersey tops, to attract more shoppers.
One of the biggest qualms consumers have had about the Arcadia brands is their lack of inclusivity, with plus size ranges absent from both Topshop and Miss Selfridge’s proposition and their core lines only extending up to size 18, leading Asos to make resolving this one of its key priorities. This will drastically help to improve customer perceptions of the brands, and it should also incorporate inclusive sizing into HIIT’s ranges in order for the sports brand to match the standards set by the likes of Nike and Adidas. Since Miss Selfridge is already a destination for petite clothing, Asos now plans to introduce a tall range to its proposition too, which will further boost the brand’s inclusive credentials.
Asos’s superior online proposition will be the greatest advantage for the former Arcadia brands, which reportedly had only 200 million website visits a year prior to the acquisition, compared to Asos’s 280 million a month. Consumers will already see the value in purchasing these brands via Asos, as it has a much more efficient and appealing platform, and its established Premier delivery scheme will have far more members than the delivery saver schemes previously managed by the ex-Arcadia brands, which were only introduced in 2019.
Asos has also been driving site traffic by giving customers 25% off products from these brands, which is more generous than its usual 20% off site-wide promotions. However it should ensure this is only an introductory offer so that its customers which have not shopped these brands before become accustomed to their usual price points.
Despite the advantage of Asos’s digital prowess in boosting the brands’ top of mind appeal, Topshop in particular will be missed from high streets across the UK. Though Asos stated that purchasing Topshop’s flagship on Oxford Street is not a priority, it should consider it, as this store has become a key destination for young shoppers and tourists over the past 25 years. Keeping this location could also offer Asos an opportunity to showcase and sell its in-house ranges offline for the first time too, helping it to compete with other online specialists like the Boohoo Group which was readying to open its first showroom prior to Covid-19, and Shein, which has operated pop-up stores.