Asos poised to overtake M&S

Online-only British retailer Asos is expected to be soon valued at more than its older rival Marks & Spencer, reflecting a “seminal moment” for the fashion industry.

City investors believe it is only a matter of time before the etailer overtakes the established department stores chain, as Asos has a market value of £4.98bn, compared to M&S’ £5.08bn.

“The valuation gap between the two businesses is the smallest it has ever been and we believe that it will not be long before Asos has a greater market value than M&S. It will be a seminal moment,” said Mark Photiades, a retail analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, to the Times.

The news confirms an overwhelming shift in the fashion industry, with British shoppers now turning to online stores to purchase clothing in an effort to save money and time.

Asos is also primarily aimed at young adults, while Marks & Spencer’s latest strategy was aimed at Mrs M&S, a woman in her 50s who wants “stylish contemporary clothing.”

Asos was founded in 2000 and was floated on AIM £14 million in 2001. Its rise has been compared to Amazon, which established in 1994 and is now worth twice as much as Walmart.

While M&S has been selling online since before Asos was born, the company has been criticised for losing touch with its core customers, particularly in clothing.

Meanwhile, Next has a market capitalisation of £5.7bn.

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