Dec 12, 2016
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Asos to open more UK factories, offer faster fashion for European customers

Dec 12, 2016

London-based e-commerce company Asos plans to capitalise on the drop in the pound’s exchange rate against other international currencies by doubling its UK manufacturing capacity.

Photo: Archive

The company sources garments and other goods from around the world including China, Eastern Europe, India, Turkey and UK. Factories in these countries account for 84% of all production.

However, with the pound’s decline, domestic production is becoming more affordable and could offer a more agile supply chain that will allow it to serve the UK and European markets faster.

With this in mind, Asos CEO Nick Beighton announced on Monday plans to open more plants in the UK over the next three to four years to support the company’s rapid expansion.

“There is manufacturing capacity in the UK but the skills aren’t quite as available as they once were,” said Beighton in an interview with Bloomberg .

Asos offers its employees stitching and garment design workshops at one of its factories in London, which together with a second factory, accounts for 4% of the company’s production.

While the largest proportion of items are sold outside of the UK, increasing domestic manufacturing would benefit the company’s sales in Europe by making products available to consumers faster.

The plan to repatriate production are part of a wider expansion drive that will see 1,500 new jobs created over the next three years at the firm's London headquarters. The hires will increase the London workforce by 60%.

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