Nordstrom has acquired a minority interest in the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands owned by Asos. The deal is designed to help grow and ensure the future of the four British brands, in particular the trendy and affordable Topshop women’s and Topman men’s labels. The transaction reflects Nordstrom’s efforts to bolster its appeal to younger shoppers. Shortly after launching Topshop in 2012, Nordstrom said that the average age of the Topshop shopper was ‘significantly younger — like ten years younger than the typical Nordstrom’s women’s apparel customer.’ Under the new Asos deal, Nordstrom gets the exclusive multichannel retail rights for Topshop and Topman in all of North America, including Canada. Nordstrom will also become the only brick-and-mortar presence for the two brands worldwide. The minority stake is in the four brands, not Asos itself.
Under its arrangement with Nordstrom, Asos will retain operational and creative control of the Topshop brands as well as the Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands. The companies are in discussions to create ‘a multichannel showcase’ for a handful of Asos brands for Nordstrom customers. Customers will be able to pick up Asos.com orders at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores this fall. For many years, Topshop/Topman was a hip, buzzy fashion destination, in particular its Oxford Street flagship in London. Last February Asos bought Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT for $364mn from the now-defunct Arcadia Group, which went into administration. About 94 Nordstrom stores sell Topshop and Topman merchandise. Nordstrom Rack off-price stores also sell the two labels. The two brands will also continue to be available on nordstrom.com.