ASOS v M&S

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Online fashion retailer ASOS is only £100m shy in market value of industry stalwart Marks & Spencer.

Consumers take it online

It’s happened to other industries, and clothing is no exception.

UK shoppers are increasingly completing their shopping sprees online, instead of braving the parking fees, ques and poorer overall experience that comes with taking a trip down the high street.

Tech driven

ASOS has been innovative from the get go: it created the first digital catwalk, its shopping app is very popular and it’s set to take its technology team headcount over the 1000 mark. It also regularly collaborates with tech firms.

And the company has just come up with another industry first: an “image search” app. This allows the shopper to take a picture of an item and the app will then show similar clothing designs.

Property

For ASOS this isn’t a concern. Its only properties are warehousing and administrative.

But one of the biggest profit eating issues for Marks & Spencer is its store empire.

With new, often higher, business rates set to come in and rents continuously going up, there may come a point where bosses at the firm take a serious look at whether a physical presence is truly necessary in many of its locations.

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