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Primark ties up with ASOS for foray into online sales

A Primark clothing shop is seen in central London, April 25, 2013.REUTERS/ Paul Hackett
A Primark clothing shop is seen in central London, April 25, 2013.REUTERS/ Paul Hackett

(Reuters) - Britain's Primark has tied up with online fashion merchant ASOS to sell clothes over the Internet, as the discount apparel chain tries Web-based retailing for the first time.

Owned by conglomerate Associated British Foods, Primark has bucked the retail gloom thanks to its focus on low prices at a time when many retailers find the going tough as consumers fret over job security and a squeeze on incomes.

The chain has 257 brick-and-mortar stores across eight countries including Britain, Ireland and Spain, but currently no online retailing presence.

"Primark is undertaking a very limited trial of online sales with ASOS. This trial relates to a small number of fashion items and will give the company some insight into online retailing," a Primark spokesman said via email.

Tarlok Teji, a retail analyst at Manchester Business School, said it made sense for Primark to tie up with ASOS for its first foray into online retailing.

"The details of the deal are unclear but I expect it will increase throughput for ASOS and give Primark customers a 'digital shopping channel'," Teji said in emailed comments. "We should expect both parties to do well from this venture."

(Reporting by James Davey in London and Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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