Fast-fashion giant Boohoo has acquired Dorothy Perkins and two more Arcadia brands for £25.2million – in a deal that will see 214 stores permanently close and 2,450 jobs axed immediately.
The online retail business will take over Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis, a week after rival Asos saved flagship brand Topshop from collapse.
The business, which has rescued Debenhams, Oasis and Warehouse since the start of the pandemic, said that it would buy all the e-commerce and digital assets of the three brands, as well as their inventory.
However, the deal does not include the brands’ retail stores, concessions or franchises, with 214 stores to not reopen after lockdown measures are eased.
Arcadia administrators Deloitte confirmed that around 2,450 staff will lose their jobs with immediate effect.
Approximately 260 jobs will be moving with the brands to Boohoo, mainly head office functions such as brand design, buying and merchandising, and the digital part of the business.
Some other staff will also go through a transition period for a few months.
Staff have been emailed this morning and will be informed over the course of the day.
Are you an Arcadia employee affected by this news? Get in touch [email protected]
John Lyttle, Boohoo chief executive, said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the assets associated with the online businesses of the three established brands Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis.
“Acquiring these well-known brands in British fashion out of administration ensures their heritage is sustained, while our investment aims to transform them into brands that are fit for the current market environment.
“We have a successful track record of integrating British heritage fashion brands onto our proven multi-brand platform, and we are looking forward to bringing these brands on board.”
Founded in Manchester in 2006, Boohoo specialises in fast-fashion for twenty-somethings.
In early 2017, the group acquired fashion brands PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal.
In 2019, it rescued MissPap, Karen Millen, Coast and the Warehouse and Oasis brands.
As of August 31, 2020, the fashion group had just over 17million active customers across all its brands around the world.
Mahmud Kamani, executive chairman, added: “This is a great acquisition for the Group as we extend our market share across a broader demographic, capitalising on growth opportunities as more and more customers shop online.
“We continue to grow our portfolio of brands and customer base, strengthening our position as a leader in global fashion e-commerce.”
The takeover comes just one week after online behemoth, ASOS, rescued Sir Philip Green’s flagship Topshop brand, plus Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT for £295million.
However, all stores will close, with just 300 jobs saved.
Approximately 300 employees across design, buying and retail partnerships will transfer to ASOS – at least 2,500 retail jobs will be lost as a result of the takeover.
Completion of the transaction took place on February 4 – with the brands’ websites redirected to ASOS.
ASOS said it is “looking at” saving Topshop’s flagship Oxford Street store, which would be its first and probably only high street outlet.
Despite the collapse, Sir Philip’s family is still expected to receive £50million from the deal.
It follows the sale of Evans to City Chic on December 23 2020 for £23million.
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High street bloodbath – what other businesses are at risk?
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Here are some other high-profile retail names hit by the virus outbreak.
Aldo went into administration in May resulting in five UK store closures. The business remains on the hunt for a buyer, though franchised stores that are not part of the process and concessions remain trading.
Benson Beds fell into administration in June with Harveys Furniture and was quickly bought back by its owners in a prearranged deal.
Brighthouse fell into administration at the end of March.
Cath Kidston went into administration in April and its online, franchise and wholesale arms were bought back by its owners resulting in the closure of 60 stores and 908 redundancies.
Debenhams is set to close all of 118 remaining shops after Boohoo confirmed a takeover of its website-only business.
Harveys Furniture fell into administration in June and continues to trade and honour existing orders while it plans to close 20 stores and make 240 staff redundant.
Laura Ashley said in March it would permanently shut 70 stores and cut hundreds of jobs after appointing administrators.
LK Bennet brought in administrators last year and is proposing to close stores and reduce rents to save the business.
Oasis and Warehouse fell into administration in mid-April after failing to find buyers, and online fashion group Boohoo said in June it was buying the brands but closing all stores.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Peacocks and Jaeger owners fell into administration in November, putting 4,716 jobs at risk.
Monsoon Accessorize went into administration in June and was then bought out of it by its founder. The deal meant 35 stores shut permanently and 545 staff were made redundant – but it also saved 155 stores and more than 2,500 jobs across the UK and Ireland.
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