Warehouse fire blaze knocks £30m off sales at high fashion online retailer Asos

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FASHION retailer Asos said a serious fire at its main warehouse in Barnsley in June has cost it up to £30m in lost sales after the online retailer was forced to suspend orders.

Asos, which targets internet-savvy 16 to 34-year-old women looking to emulate the designer looks of celebrities such as Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung, said it lost sales of between £25m and £30m after the blaze damaged 20 per cent of its stock at the five-storey building.

The firm said the stock had been compromised by either fire damage or the sprinkler systems

Around 500 workers were evacuated from the five-storey building.

The company said it is fully insured for the loss of stock and the interruption to business.

It added that none of the technology, automation or structure of the building has been affected by the fire.

At the end of May, Asos held £159m of stock at cost, of which around 70 per cent is held at Barnsley.

​Earlier this year Asos announced plans to invest £30m in its state-of-the-art Barnsley warehouse as part of ambitious expansion plans to increase the floorspace by 25 per cent and mechanise the entire operation.

The 530,000 sq ft Barnsley site is to switch from manual picking to automated picking.

Shares slumped yesterday as it said there was unlikely to be a rebound in profits.

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