Asos Stops Taking Orders as Warehouse Damaged by Fire

Asos Plc (ASC), the U.K.’s largest online-only fashion retailer, suspended taking orders after a fire at the warehouse in northern England that handles all its shipping.

Ten engines were needed to battle the blaze at the Barnsley site, the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service said in a statement on its website. An investigation into the cause of the fire, which affected several floors of the 60,000-square meter (650,000 square foot) depot, will begin today, it said.

“There is substantial fire damage, and it is too unsafe for anyone to go in,” Asos said on its Facebook page. “As soon as we’re able to re-enter the warehouse, we can assess the damage.”

The fire threatens Asos’s prospects in a year it reduced its outlook twice. Every product Asos sells arrives at the warehouse before delivery to customers, the company says on its careers page. The warehouse contained more than 10 million packages, the Press Association reported, without saying how it got the information.

Nobody was hurt and the company is unable to take any orders until it ascertains the extent of the damage, London-based Asos said on its website. Asos’s press office wasn’t available by phone and didn’t return an e-mail.

Firefighters were called to the industrial-site building before 10 p.m. yesterday, according to the fire service. More than 60 firefighters were involved in extinguishing the fire last night.

The stock has dropped 55 percent this year. The retailer cut its profitability forecast earlier this month, and Asos said in March increased investment would weigh on earnings.

The company had revenue of 769.4 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in the year through August.

To contact the reporter on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Heather Langan at Thomas Mulier, Stephen Kirkland

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