High street discount fashion giant Primark has finally decided to take the plunge and enter the world of e-commerce, signing a deal with online fashion retailer Asos.
The fact-finding trial will see Primark women's and menswear appear for sale via the popular Asos site for a few months only, according to a spokeswoman for the high street chain. The cheap clothes manufacturer was keen to point out that the move online is not an indication of any major change in strategy.
“Primark is undertaking a very limited trial of online sales with Asos. This trial relates to a small number of fashion items and will give the company some insight into online retailing,” the retailer said.
“The company’s priority remains to push ahead with the rollout of physical stores in high street locations on the continent and in the UK.”
As evidence of the store’s high street ambitions, Primark confirmed it would open three stores in France in late 2013 and next year. There is likely to be one in Marseilles by Christmas, then Dijon, and finally a store on the outskirts of Paris.
The strategy is an interesting one as e-commerce giants now dominate certain traditional areas of the high street like books and travel. Clothing was a slow mover in the internet shopping domain due to concerns over buyers wanting to see, feel and try on items before making a purchase, but sites like Asos have assuaged these issues by offering quick, free and easy delivery and returns.
With its high street strategy, Primark is also taking a very different focus to stores like Debenhams and Littlewoods. The department stores were both speaking at an e-commerce event in London on Tuesday, detailing their attempts to take advantage of the mobile and social shopping revolution.
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