Asos launches Nordstrom joint venture to sell Topshop clothes in US stores

By guest author Elias Jahshan from Retail Gazette

  • Asos announces sale of a minority stake in Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge & HIIT to Nordstrom
  • Asos will form a joint venture with Nordstrom which will see the former Arcadia brands return to a select number of stores in the US
  • It is the first time Asos has struck a deal with a retailer with physical stores
Caption courtesy by Retail Gazette

Asos has partnered up with US retail giant Nordstrom in a new joint venture that will see Topshop clothes sold in physical stores again for the first time since late last year.

The deal sees Nordstrom – which first struck a deal with the former Arcadia flagship brand nine years ago – buy a minority stake in the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands that were bought out of administration by Asos earlier this year.

Asos said: “The joint-venture will help drive the growth of these brands and paves the way for exploration of a new wider strategic partnership aimed at building greater awareness and engagement in the US and Canadian market.”

It is the first time Asos has struck a deal with a retailer with physical stores, having always only traded online in the past.

Nordstrom has 350 bricks-and-mortar stores in North America and a strong online business, which Asos hopes to tap into despite having a strong ecommerce presence of its own in the region.

Asos will retain operational and creative control of Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT but will collaborate on reaching a larger customer base.

This includes “an edit of the best Asos brands launching across and in selected high-impact Nordstrom stores”.

Asos will also offer click-and-collect services in Nordstrom stores.

The move comes five months after Asos bought Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT from administrators for Sir Philip Green’s now-collapsed Arcadia Group retail empire for GBP 330 million.

However, while Asos bought the brands, it decided not to take on the 70 stores, including the flagship site at London’s Oxford Circus, a move that affected around 2500 workers.

“With its long-established connection to Topshop, extensive US consumer insight and unparalleled reach right across North America, Nordstrom is the right partner to help Asos accelerate the growth of our Topshop and Asos brands in this key market,” Asos chief executive Nick Beighton said.

Nordstrom president and chief brand officer Pete Nordstrom said: “We could not have found a better partner in Asos, the world leader in fashion for the 20-something customer.”

Topshop and Nordstrom first teamed up in 2012, with the former selling a range of clothes in the latter’s US stores.

It was part of the former UK fashion giant’s first foray into the US and eventually led to several Topshop stores in US cities.