ASOS has just relaunched Topshop on its website after rescuing the brand in a £295million deal, which saw administrators to the collapsed parent group Arcadia close down the Topshop website and its shops.
The relaunch will be exclusive to ASOS, with the online retailer hoping to drum up demand with a large number of Topshop’s former followers.
It’s the latest ecommerce retailer to snap up a major high street name, after boohoo swooped for the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands, and Debenhams, Karen Millen and Coast’s online operations and brands respectively. But with so many well-known brands becoming online-only offerings, digital fashion is becoming an increasingly saturated marketplace, and retailers will need to find new ways to gain cut-through above their competitors.
So how can pure play online retailers convince consumers to stick by them in the long run?
It’s a logical step for online retailers such as boohoo and ASOS to buy well-known brands and run them as part of their existing portfolio. However, by relaunching the brands as ‘online only’, these ecommerce giants risk missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cement their brand with shoppers in person, and to build valuable consumer loyalty.
ASOS and boohoo should use the acquisitions of the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Burton, Topshop and Debenhams brands as a pivotal moment to become formidable multichannel retailers. It’s even more important that they explore this now, as consumers look ahead to lockdown measures lifting on the 12 April and being able to shop in physical stores again – with many having saved surplus funds during the lockdown period. Retailers must prepare themselves for what could be a monumental ‘roaring twenties’ rebound to bricks and mortar shopping.