Video report by ITV News business and economics editor Joel Hills
Asos is one of retail’s bright young things. Once upon a time the stock market valued the online business more highly than Marks and Spencer - but no longer.
This morning’s profit warning was a fashion faux pas and investors scrambled to sell shares.
Next, Marks and Spencer, Dunelm, Associated British Food (owns Primark) and BooHoo were all caught in the stampede.
We know that shoppers are buying more online, so the idea that they are reigning in their spending is cause for concern.
A downturn? Brexit anxiety? It isn’t clear. The hard data that will tell us is a few weeks away. It’s perfectly possible that people are beginning to find the ongoing political turmoil deeply unsettling.
Asos has been hurt by the extraordinary level of aggressive discounting. The promotions are everywhere, the scale suggests that many retailers find themselves over-stocked. 50% off before Christmas either reads like a bargain or a cry for help.
There’s always hope but the signs are there are too few pounds chasing too many goods. In the New Year someone’s likely come to come a cropper.