In The Style strengthens Asda PUDO partnership

Online fashion retailer In The Style has strengthened its partnership with grocer Asda, gaining nationwide exposure as part of a novel marketing initiative.

The eCommerce company will have its name displayed on one of Asda’s supply chain trucks to mark the two businesses' fulfilment collaboration via the supermarket group’s ToYou 'pick-up and drop off' (PUDO) service.

Launching this week, the newly-branded lorry is one of a several specially labelled trucks within the Asda fleet – a marketing opportunity offered to the brands Asda considers as a key partner for ToYou.

ToYou has been running for over three years, and enables customers of third-party retailers – including In The Style, Missguided, and Pretty Little Thing – ‘to PUDO’ at their local Asda. It is a service supported by Manhattan Associates’ software, and enables Asda to drive different consumer demographics into its stores.

In The Style signed up for the ToYou service just over a year ago, and to mark this week’s marketing exercise with Asda the business is today offering all customers next day click & collect in Asda for a discounted price of 99p. 

CEO and founder of In The Style, Adam Frisby, said: “It was a proud moment when Asda approached us with the prospect of branding up a lorry with our logo – it just goes to show how much they value us and I can definitely say that the feeling is mutual.”

Essential Retail understands some larger Asda stores are handling circa 1,500 ToYou collections or returns from third-party brands per week, and there are plans in place to develop further joint marketing opportunities with service partners.

Tom Enright, vice president and retail supply chain expert at analyst group Gartner, told this publication that ToYou “represents the beginning of something new” in wider retail. There is no reason why the service can’t be replicated across the sector, he said, particularly for retailers with multiple fascia where fulfilment networks should be combined wherever possible.

“It’s good news for Asda in terms of extra footfall and additional spend, and good news for the consumer who can engage with a brand they otherwise wouldn’t have access to,” Enright explained.

“It’s highly copiable – there’s nothing stopping other retailers doing the same thing, and that means it could be the beginning of a new future retail model. It’s an evolution from CollectPlus or Doddle, and it’s essentially a retailer saying ‘I want to be a Post Office’, to a certain degree.”

On Asda working with fast fashion brands, which typically have a younger audience than the supermarket chain, he commented: “It’s like sports teams getting six-year-olds coming to watch matches because they see them as their future season ticket holder.

“With ToYou you also get the influence from the family – maybe mum and dad would have gone to Tesco but because son or daughter have ordered something that can be collected from Asda, does that divert the weekly shop to a different store?”

Essential Retail, Asda and Gartner representatives are among the delegates in Barcelona this week for Manhattan Exchange, a pan-European event for supply chain professionals in the retail and manufacturing industries.