December 12, 2016 / 7:29 AM / a year ago

Retailer ASOS to create 1,500 UK jobs over three years

LONDON (Reuters) - British online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L) plans to add 1,500 new jobs at its London headquarters, the latest tech business to announce new investment in Britain despite the country’s vote to leave the European Union.

ASOS, which also sells to customers in the United States, mainland Europe and elsewhere, said it would increase its London workforce by 60 percent over the next three years from the current 2,500, and invest 40 million pounds ($50 million) to renovate its building in the trendy district of Camden.

The new jobs in technology, marketing and retail follow announcements from Facebook (FB.O) and Google (GOOGL.O) in the last month that they plan to invest in Britain.

The planned hirings come despite warnings before the Brexit vote on June 23 that leaving the EU would make Britain a less attractive place for companies to invest.

The chief executive of ASOS, which has annual sales of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion), said the Brexit vote had not featured in the company’s thinking.

“The decision today is nothing to do with Brexit,” Nick Beighton said in an interview on Monday. “These plans had been put together pre-June 23.”

In recent months, Britain’s tech sector has proved more resilient than other industries such as financial services, where banks including Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Citi (C.N) are said to be considering shifting some jobs abroad due to Brexit.

    For tech executives, London’s talent pool and creative culture have convinced them of the city’s importance whether Britain is in the EU or not.

    “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,” said Beighton.

    ASOS has benefited from the devaluation of the pound since the Brexit vote as more than half of its sales are made outside Britain.

    Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and Mark Potter

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