Asos is finally launching into sportswear. Some of its direct and indirect competitors have put their foot in the door already, and this year the British e-tailer is joining the fray too. Asos launched its offensive in January, by creating a men's and women's sport section on its website, featuring a few specialized brands and select sportswear lines by apparel generalists. The second phase of the offensive is scheduled for the end of the year, with the launch of Asos's own range.
The Asos online marketplace already features several hundred sportswear items, chiefly from big sportswear brands such as Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Puma and Ellesse, as well as brands with a more specific target, such as Berlei sport bras and Billabong and O'Neill for water sports.
Asos' own sportswear collection is expected for November and will be comprehensive, focusing on several sporting activities. "We will make a proper launch, with an Asos range for yoga, running, fitness, surfing, skiing, skateboarding and snowboarding," said CEO Nick Beighton to FashionNetwork.
It is an all-out effort to go after the 'twenty-something' customer segment signaled out by Asos, though it was initially put on stand-by because of trademark issues. The fashion e-tailer was in fact forced to seek an agreement with brands with similar names that had a prior claim to the trademark. Specifically, Swiss cycling gear specialist Assos was blocking Asos' launch in the sport segment on several key markets. Now that a financial arrangement has been reached, Asos will join the race for a highly competitive market.
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