ASOS reveals impact on UK economy with expected £3.8bn boost

ASOS has released its first-ever economic impact report, suggesting that the fast-fashion giant is expected to boost the UK economy by £3.8bn and support an additional 25,000 jobs within the next four years.

The latest analysis – conducted by Oxford Economics to mark ASOS’ 21st birthday – has highlighted the scale of the online retailer’s contribution to the UK economy and society.

The company’s total economic impact in the UK grew to £1.8bn in 2019/20, providing vital support to the UK economy at the height of the pandemic. In turn, this generated UK tax revenues of £825m, an increase of 2.2% from the year prior.

The report also looked at employment, noting that ASOS directly employed over 3,600 employees during 2019/20. With every direct ASOS employee supporting 7.7 jobs elsewhere in the country, that meant that the business supported more than 31,000 jobs across the UK in that period.

ASOS currently also employs 187 apprentices, equivalent to 59 apprentices per 1,000 employees. This is 40% higher than the industry average.

Read more: ASOS is latest target of £1bn stock market trading attack

Plans to reach £7bn turnover in the next three to four years will further boost ASOS’ impact in the UK.  Oxford Economics estimates that this would increase GDP contribution by £2bn, to £3.8bn. Up to 25,000 new jobs could also be created as a result of this growth, bringing the total number of jobs supported by ASOS in the UK to around 60,000.

“Since ASOS began over two decades ago, we’ve grown from a tech start-up with just a handful of employees to become a truly global business, directly employing over 3,000 people,” commented chief operating officer, Mat Dunn.

“We’re incredibly proud of the positive impact ASOS has on the UK’s society and economy – this is testament to the skill, dedication, and hard work of the ASOS team. As we continue our journey to reach £7bn of annual revenue, we’re looking forward to seeing how ASOS’ contribution to the UK will further grow.”

Read more: Asos plans to move to main London Stock Exchange market

ASOS also contributes to levelling up and upskilling across the UK by spending over £800m with UK suppliers. Around 25% of that goes towards 40 of the most deprived English local authority areas, with around 21% spent within the Levelling Up Fund’s highest-priority areas.

A new fulfilment centre in Lichfield is also expected to create 2,000 jobs over the next three years.

ASOS Marketplace supports UK SMEs by providing a platform for fashion retail businesses. Almost 1,400 global sellers currently use ASOS Marketplace from 55 countries, processing around 200,000 orders per year.

Director of economic impact consulting at Oxford Economics, Pete Collings said: “Our research demonstrates the significant contribution that a large and successful British company like ASOS can make to the economy, especially the jobs market and the UK’s public finances, as the UK recovers from the deepest economic recession in living memory.

“ASOS provides crucial support for the UK economy across its supply chain and in all regions of the economy, including levelling up priority areas.”

The full Economic Impact report can be downloaded here.

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