Asos, one of the UK’s biggest online-only fashion retailers, has announced that it will open a number of plants in the UK over the next couple of years as it looks to boost local sourcing efforts.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Asos CEO Nick Beighton said that the company currently only makes about 4% of its products at two factories in London.
“There is manufacturing capacity in the UK but the skills aren’t quite as available as they once were,” Beighton said.
Asos’s vision to expand British manufacturing has been aided by the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, as it has caused the pound to decline by 15% against the dollar. The company hopes that establishing more of a manufacturing hub in the UK will mean it can get products to consumers faster.
The company has seen its earnings boosted since the pound began to fall. An estimated 57% of its sales are outside of the UK.
Some market analysts have expressed scepticism over the idea of bringing manufacturing back to the UK.
“People that think lots of clothing manufacturing will now come back to Britain are living in cloud cuckoo land. It isn’t economically viable and a lot of the necessary infrastructure and skills have dissipated,” said Richard Hyman to Bloomberg.
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.