by Stephen Garner

Nordstrom and ASOS are joining forces.

The Seattle-based department store announced on Monday that it has acquired a minority interest in the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT brands. This investment will help drive the growth of these brands globally, setting the stage for Nordstrom and ASOS to sit alongside a new wider strategic partnership. This partnership will involve unprecedented collaboration and alignment, redefining the traditional retail/wholesale model.

While ASOS will retain operational and creative control of the Topshop brands, a shared ownership model will ensure close collaboration between the U.S. retailer and ASOS, driving a stronger future for the Topshop brands worldwide. Nordstrom has been the exclusive distributor of Topshop and Topman in the U.S. since 2012 when they became the first to bring the brand to the U.S. market. Nordstrom will now have the exclusive multi-channel retail rights for Topshop and Topman in all of North America, including Canada, and own a minority stake globally. The retailer will also become the only brick-and-mortar presence for these brands worldwide.

“With its long-established connection to Topshop, extensive U.S. consumer insight, and unparalleled reach right across North America, Nordstrom is the right partner to help ASOS accelerate the growth of our Topshop and ASOS brands in this key market,” said Nick Beighton, chief executive officer at ASOS. “ASOS is all about giving customers the confidence to be who they want to be. Partnering with Nordstrom will support our U.S. strategy, allowing us to offer that to even more 20-somethings in North America. We’re excited about the opportunities ahead, collaborating to deliver the best product through engaging, friction-free multi-touch experiences and we can’t wait to see the growth in our brands in Nordstrom stores.”

The investment paves the way for the potential of a wider strategic alliance between ASOS and Nordstrom as both retailers seek to leverage their business models to reach even more 20-somethings. The companies are in discussions to create a multi-channel showcase for a handful of ASOS brands for Nordstrom customers.  Customers will also be able to pick up orders at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack stores this fall.

“We could not have found a better partner in ASOS, the world leader in fashion for the 20-something customer, and are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them to reimagine the wholesale/retail partnership,” added Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer. “Bringing the ASOS brands, including Topshop and Topman, to our customers allows us to create newness and excitement for this important dynamic customer segment.”