Nordstrom Buys Stake in 4 Apparel Brands Owned by UK Fashion House ASOS
Nordstrom said Sunday it has acquired a minority stake in four apparel brands owned by the online U.K. fashion house ASOS, reports CNBC. The brands — Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and the activewear label HIIT — target younger consumers in their 20s. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Although ASOS will retain operational and creative control of the Topshop brands, Nordstrom will have the exclusive retail rights for Topshop and Topman across North America.
Nordstrom has been the exclusive distributer of Topshop and Topman in the United States since 2012. The upscale department store will now be the only brick-and-mortar location for these brands globally. ASOS acquired Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT in February. The brands were put on the block after the British retail empire Arcadia Group filed for bankruptcy protection late last year.
Total Retail's Take: Nordstrom has been actively looking to target Gen Z and younger consumers over the past year, with a focus on initiatives like livestream shopping, corporate social responsibility, vintage resale apparel and more. Now, by exclusively offering merchandise from Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT, Nordstrom will reach a younger generation of shoppers who have growing spending power. Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer, said in a press release that "bringing the ASOS brands, including Topshop and Topman, to our customers allows us to create newness and excitement for this important dynamic customer segment."
This investment will also benefit ASOS, as the U.K. brand looks to grow its awareness in the North American market. "We're excited about the opportunities ahead, collaborating to deliver the best product through engaging, friction-free multitouch experiences, and we can't wait to see the growth in our brands in Nordstrom stores," said Nick Beighton, CEO at ASOS.
Nordstrom and ASOS also stated that the investment paves the way for the potential of a wider strategic alliance between the two retailers, such as their plan to offer Asos.com order pickup at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores this fall. Nordstrom noted that the venture will "reimagine the wholesale/retail partnership," something several department stores are moving towards as brand partnerships grow and consumer sentiment fluctuates.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.