Nordstrom is taking its relationship with Asos to the next level. The retailer revealed this evening that it is acquiring a minority stake in the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands — an innovative move as it executes its post-pandemic strategy.
Financial terms of the deal — which comes less than six months after Asos acquired the labels — were not disclosed. (In February, Asos paid 330 million pounds to take control of the brands from the now-defunct Arcadia Group.)
Asos, the UK digital powerhouse, will retain operational and creative control of the Topshop brands.
“We could not have found a better partner in Asos, the world leader in fashion for the 20-something customer, and are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them to reimagine the wholesale/retail partnership,” said Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer of the 120-year-old family company, in a statement. “Bringing the Asos brands, including Topshop and Topman, to our customers allows us to create newness and excitement for this dynamic customer segment.”
The joint venture will allow Nordstrom, which has been the exclusive U.S. distributor of Topshop and Topman, to have the exclusive multi-channel rights for the brands across North America, including Canada. The retailer will also become the only brick and mortar presence for the brands globally.
“With its long-established connection to Topshop, extensive U.S. consumer insight and unparalleled reach right across North America, Nordstrom is the right partner to help ASOS accelerate the growth of our Topshop and Asos brands in this key market,” said Nick Beighton, CEO of Asos.
Beighton noted that the partnership will help fuel the company’s growth in North America through “engaging, friction-free multi-touch experiences.”
The companies said the investment also opens the door for a bigger alliance between Asos and Nordstrom. They are in discussions to create a multi-channel showcase for a handful of other Asos brands.
To start, customers will also be able to pick up Asos.com orders at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores beginning fall.
The move comes as Nordstrom continues to accelerate its online growth. In the first quarter, digital sales increased 23% year over year and 28% from the 2019 fiscal year. The channel represented 46% of revenues during the period.
In March, Nordstrom hinted that its partnership with Asos would become more significant. “It’s a very big and very important vendor for us,” said Pete Nordstrom at the time.
The department store has recently zeroed in on out-of-the-box opportunities through its partnerships with names like Tonal, the fitness purveyor, and Casper, the mattress brand.