Britainstill accounts for about 40 percent of retail sales, and remains an extremely promotional market, particularly for womenswear. It also has nimble rivals to contend with -- smaller upstart boohoo.com Plc is snapping at its heels. Stretched consumers, and aggressive competitors, mean Asos won't be able to raise prices in its domestic market, and it has pledged to do all it can to avoid hikes. Catching Up Smaller rival Boohoo.com is growing faster than Asos Show more Source: Bloomberg 2017: Boohoo and Asos are company forecasts. Zalando is Bloomberg forecast The shares fell as much as 7.4 percent in early trading. Investors are right to be concerned. Asos isnt the only high-sales-growth, margin-pressure story out there. Even Inditex SA, whose sales growth has left most rivals in the shade, saw its gross margin shrink to the lowest level in almost eight years in 2016. Asos deserves some premium over bricks and mortar retailers. It is on a forward price earnings ratio of 62 times, compared with Inditex's 27, and 20 times for the Bloomberg Intelligence European specialty apparel index.
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