A fire in Asos' distribution center has temporarily incapacitated the British online retailer, as it was forced to halt all sales. The fire department believes the fire was created deliberately.
All purchases through distribution center
According to the fire department, the fire was created deliberately on Friday night and ripped through several floors of the distribution center, while 500 employees had to be evacuated. The fire even forced Asos to temporarily cease sales on its website as it informed its customers on Sunday that there would be no online orders for the time being. Earlier today, the website re-opened.
Asos' distribution center in Barnsley, location of the fire, is a crucial point in the retailer's supply chain. Each and every sold item goes through this particular center before it is shipped off to the customer.
In 2005, Asos had to deal with a similar disaster, when an explosion damaged its Hemel Hempstead warehouse quite severely. Asos was forced to pay back 19,000 purchases back then.
Several weeks ago, Asos also felt the need to send out a profit warning, because of waning turnover growth and increased competition which have cut down profit margins. The fire has now added insult to injury.