Scores of marketing jobs are set to be axed by online fashion giant Asos following reports that the embattled retailer is planning to slash over 100 staff from its head office.
Quite why marketers are bearing the brunt of the cutbacks is not known, however one thing is certain; the one-time Internet star is no longer shining bright.
Asos issued its first profits warning back in December, saying it had suffered a “significant deterioration” in pre-Christmas trading, which sent shares plummeting by around 40%. And in March the retailer reported an 87% crash in interim pre-tax profits. At the time, it cited issues at a new warehouse in the US, which was unable to cope with a surge in demand.
It was also incurred the wrath of its most ardent customers when scrapped its “A-List” loyalty scheme.
And in April this year it announced a crackdown on its returns policy, in which it threatened to blacklist customers who it identified as “serial returners”. Asos chief executive Nick Beighton said: “These guys are treating the Asos proposition sometimes, regrettably, as a rental service.”
The firm’s current woes are a far cry from last summer, when it appointed former Saatchi & Saatchi, Football Assocation, Royal Mail and ITV boss Adam Crozier as chairman. At the time, Asos’s shares were rocketing, valuing the firm at £5.1bn, against Marks & Spencer’s £4.79bn.
Crozier said: “The Asos story is truly impressive and I am tremendously excited to become part of it. I’m greatly looking forward to working with the team that is building a global powerhouse in online fashion.”
Asos is now worth £2.5bn but it is still bigger than M&S – just – which is now valued at £2.15bn.
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