May 23, 2022

A woman can be seen shopping at ASOS, the online fashion store, on a laptop.

Dinendra Haria | SOPA pictures | LightRakete | Getty Images

Nordstrom announced on Sunday that it has acquired a minority stake in four clothing brands owned by British online fashion house Asos.

The brands – Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and activewear label HIIT – are all aimed at younger consumers in their twenties. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Pete Nordstrom, President and Chief Brand Officer of Nordstrom, said he sees the collaboration as an opportunity to redefine the business model of a wholesaler like Nordstrom working with a retailer. He also expects the possibility of further strategic partnerships in the future.

While Asos retains operational and creative control of the Topshop brands, Nordstrom will own the exclusive retail rights for Topshop and Topman across North America.

“By making the Asos brands, including Topshop and Topman, available to our customers, we can create new and excitement,” said Pete Nordstrom in a statement.

The department store has been the exclusive distributor of Topshop and Topman in the USA since 2012. Nordstrom will now be the only stationary location for these brands worldwide.

As of this fall, customers can also pick up online orders from Asos at all Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack locations, the companies said.

Asos acquired Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT in February. The brands were put on the block after Arcadia Group, the British retail empire run by billionaire Philip Green for 18 years, filed for bankruptcy late last year. Bans put in place during 2020 due to the pandemic dealt a heavy blow to Arcadia, which operated hundreds of stores. Asos, on the other hand, had a purely online business model.

Nordstrom is looking for ways to get its existing customers to return to shopping regularly while reaching out to people who have never visited its stores or website before. It has the potential to weather the pandemic – especially since many people are returning to work and school and need brand new wardrobes.

The company hopes Nordstrom will reach a younger generation of buyers with growing purchasing power by offering exclusive products from Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT.

It could use a boost too. Nordstrom didn’t top its earnings before the pandemic. In the three-month period ending May 1, sales decreased by 13% compared to 2019. Increased labor and shipping costs as well as interruptions in the supply chain have put the business under further pressure.

Nordstrom shares are up about 15% since the start of the year. The company has a market capitalization of $ 5.7 billion.