Retailer ASOS to spend $100M to automate Georgia warehouse

UNION CITY, Ga. (AP) — British online fashion and beauty retailer ASOS is investing $100 million to automate its warehouse in Union City, south of Atlanta.

The publicly held company, which has 1,000 employees, announced its plans recently. ASOS initially invested more than $40 million in the warehouse which opened in 2018, saying it would grow to 1,600 workers.

The company said it would create an unspecified number of new engineering and software development jobs.

ASOS CEO Nick Beighton said the work would “streamline” the warehouse, which ASOS relies on to distribute products across the United States.

Spokesperson Ellen Freeth said work including automation, robotics and expansion of storage capacity will begin this month, saying the overhaul “will let us do more business in the U.S. and do it more efficiently.” Freeth didn’t say how much a typical ASOS worker makes, saying salaries vary.

ASOS told investors recently that the work is likely to be completed in 2023, increasing stock capacity of the warehouse by 50% to 15.5 million units and allowing the warehouse to handle 3.1 million items a week. The company projects sales in the U.S. will rise by 50%.

ASOS had told investors that it struggled with not having enough stock in the Atlanta warehouse during the pandemic. Fewer airplane flights meant it couldn’t quickly move merchandise from the United Kingdom.

ASOS will get sales tax breaks on equipment and local officials could also grant property tax reductions.