British E-tailer Asos Launches US Site

The U.K.’s largest online fashion store just got a little bigger.

Asos.com, which has more than four million registered customers, made its U.S. debut this week with the launch of a website exclusively for the American market.

“The U.S. presents an enormous opportunity for us,” said Nick Robertson, founder and CEO of Asos, in a statement. “[Now we can] bring fashion to homes [in] New York, Chicago or Topeka, Kansas. … Our aim is to be an online destination for all things fashion.”

The London-based e-tailer, which offers more 800 brands and 42,000 product lines spanning men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and beauty products, was launched in 2000 and did about $370 million in international sales for the year ending March 2010.

More than 100 footwear brands are sold on the U.S. site, including Converse, United Nude, House of Harlow, Timberland and Asos’ own label.

Before the launch, Asos had already established a database of 200,000 customers based in the U.S. and has been actively marketing to boost traffic there. Initial efforts, according to a press release from the company, have nearly tripled U.S. traffic and doubled U.S. sales.

“In 2005, international sales accounted for 5 percent of our business,” said Asos International Director Jon Kamaluddin, noting the division now makes up about 30 percent of the company’s business. “The internet makes the world a much smaller place.”

The move into the U.S. market is just one piece of the company’s plans for international expansion, which includes the launch of French and German sites next month. Currently, Asos ships to about 167 countries.

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