Online-only retailer can’t resist the power of print

By Rhys Handley, Monday 05 March 2018

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Fashion retailer Asos has largely existed only in abstract cyberspace since its inception – one of the most recognisable brands to be truly online-only. But even Asos cannot deny the power of print, as its customer-loyalty quarterly magazine reaches its 100th edition and goes on commercial release for the first time.

assos

What was produced?

St Austell-based Wyndeham Roche produced a run of 144pp perfect-bound magazines using 70gsm text paper stock from Stora Enso. The commemorative edition is  available with four different  covers, featuring fashion and culture figures: singer Jorja Smith, rapper J Hus and actors Maisie Williams and Cole Sprouse. The cover was printed on 200gsm gloss stock with a matt UV varnish by Southernprint, Wyndeham Roche’s Poole sister company.

What did the job entail?

Repro is handled by Born Group. Wyndeham Roche prints the title using a Manroland Lithoman 72pp web press. Four-colour process inks were supplied by Flint Group. The pages were trimmed to the Asos-specified size of 270x200mm and then perfect bound, all on a Corona binder from Muller Martini. Southernprint produced the covers using a Heidelberg M600 six-unit single web 16pp press.

What challenges were overcome?

Although Asos Magazine has only been printed at Wyndeham Roche for the past few issues, it has been produced at other Wyndeham Group plants, including Southernprint, since its inception in 2007, so the procedure was largely familiar to staff. The cover variants represented the biggest change in routine, according to scheduling manager Leanne Alderson.

“With several cover variations, we did have to regularly stop the binder running,” she said. “We would have to halt production, swap over to the next cover, and continue until changing again. It’s a process which we dealt with efficiently.”

What was the feedback?

Between July and December 2017, Asos Magazine’s ABC was 453,287. The new magazine is now available online for £1. Editor in chief Francesca Babb said: “We’re enormously proud of what has been achieved by the Asos Magazine over the past 11 years. Now with our first-ever paid-for edition, those new to Asos can see for themselves what it’s all about.”

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