Discount retailer Primark makes first move online with Asos contract

Kasmira Jefford
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PRIMARK is to start selling clothes online for the first time after launching yesterday on fashion giant Asos’ website.

Unlike the majority of its high street competitors, the discount retailer has famously held out against selling online in favour of expanding its portfolio stores in the UK and in Europe.

But yesterday Primark, which is owned by the FTSE giant Associated British Foods, announced it would be undertaking “a very limited trial” to give the company some insight into the world of online retailing. The arrangement to work with existing online retailer Asos follows a recent agreement by Morrison to partner with Ocado’s online delivery service.

“The company’s priority remains to push ahead with the roll-out of physical stores in high street locations on the continent and in the UK,” a spokesperson said.

An initial collection of 20 womenswear items, ranging from £6 to £22, have gone on sale.

The online-only fashion group Asos, which sells own-label and high street brands targeting teens to twentysomethings, said Primark formed “a part of that mix”.

The trial is expected to last a few months and include both menswear and womenswear.

It is unclear at this stage whether this could lead to Primark launching a full online clothing site. It has around 260 stores in the UK and Europe and recently expanded into France.

The chain reported a 24 per cent rise in sales to £2bn in the six months to 2 March, while like-for-like sales – which strip out store openings – rose seven per cent.