ASOS resumes orders after warehouse fire

Monday 23 June 2014 18.42
ASOS says fully insured for loss of stock and business interruption caused by the fire
ASOS says fully insured for loss of stock and business interruption caused by the fire

British online fashion retailer ASOS said  it had restarted taking orders after a fire at its main warehouse at Barnsley in England on Friday led to a suspension over the weekend. 

The firm said it recommenced taking orders at 1am this morning, and was fully insured for loss of stock and business interruption caused by the fire. 

ASOS said that as of May 31 the business held £159m of stock at cost, of which around 70% was held at Barnsley Distribution Centre. 

It estimated that about 20% of the total stock at the site had been compromised by fire damage and the sprinkler systems. However, none of the technology, automation or structure of the building was affected by the fire. 

"We have been advised by the South Yorkshire Police that after initial investigations, they are treating the incident as deliberate and have commenced a criminal inquiry," said ASOS. "We are cooperating fully with this investigation," it added. 

The fire came just two weeks after ASOS warned that it full-year profits would miss forecasts by 30%. A former darling of the retail sector, ASOS spooked nvestors in March when it announced plans to spend on infrastructure to meet future demand, at the expense of short-term profits. 

Then a profit warning on June 5 wiped £1.2 billion off its market value.

Analysts pointed to the full insurance cover and noted that ASOS' management has experience in dealing with a similar business continuity issue as in 2005 its then Hemel Hempstead warehouse in south east England was damaged by nearby explosions at the Buncefield fuel depot.