Asos to create 1,500 new jobs over next three years despite Brexit uncertainty

Online-only retailer joins Facebook and Google in pledging expansion in Britain – but says decision was made before June referendum result

Ben Chapman
Monday 12 December 2016 12:31 GMT
Asos headquarters London
Asos headquarters London (Reuters)

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Asos will hire an extra 1,500 people over the next three years as it plans to significantly expand its London operation. The online fashion retailer said it has added 40,000 square feet to its Camden headquarters and will spend £40m on renovating the building.

Asos currently employs 2,500 people at its London base, with the new jobs expected to be added in technology, marketing and retail.

Both Facebook and Google have also made recent pledges to invest in Britain despite warnings that Brexit would make the country a less attractive place for companies.

Nick Beighton, the chief executive of Asos, said: “The decision today is nothing to do with Brexit. These plans had been put together pre-June 23.“

He added: “Asos is a mixture of fashion, technology, creative and design capability all in one place. There are very few places where you get that hotspot of those talents in one place so London’s very good for that.”

“Greater London House is such an important part of the company’s history, as well as Camden’s, so I'm thrilled that we get to stay in our home, while building a workplace for the future.”

Asos has recently been dogged by claims of poor working conditions at its Barnsley warehouse – allegations the company says are “inaccurate and misleading”.

The new Camden space, designed by architects Spacelab, will boast health and workout facilities, an Asos training academy, a library, cafes and eating areas and an auditorium for company-wide gatherings.

Britain’s tech sector has been less affected by the referendum result than other industries such as financial services in recent months. Global banks including Goldman Sachs and Citi are said to be considering shifting some jobs abroad due to Brexit.

London’s talent pool and creative culture appears to have convinced tech bosses of the city’s importance whether Britain is in the EU or not.

Additional reporting by agencies

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