Pure Beauty

Boohoo continues raid on high street and enters talks with Arcadia

By Becky Bargh | Published: 29-Jan-2021

The new owner of department store chain Debenhams is said to be in negotiations to buy Arcadia’s Burton, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins brands

Boohoo is said to be in advanced talks to acquire the remaining brands of Sir Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia.

Sky News reported the beauty and fashion e-tailer, and new owner of 242-year-old department store chain Debenhams, is in negotiations to take on the less coveted brands in the group’s roster: Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis.

Competitor Asos is the frontrunner to take control of the crown jewels of the group: Topshop, Topshop and Miss Selfridge.

Talks for the trio, for which Boohoo is said to have offered £25m, are not destined to be successful, but if vendors do strike a deal it could be announced as early as next week.

Other parties are still interested in the three brands, according to insiders.

The announcement comes days after Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane’s booming business bought the operations for high street name Debenhams.

Boohoo is thought to have secured the chain for a significantly marked down price of £55m.

In the last financial year, Debenhams’ online business generated £400m, meanwhile the group estimates the Debenhams’ site gets around 300 million visits annually.

However, if Boohoo’s offer is accepted for Arcadia’s remaining brands it could spell more bad news for the UK’s high streets.

Boohoo confirmed it would cease the operations of all Debenhams’ stores once the takeover is complete, sparking fresh fears that Burton, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins could suffer the same fate.

The decision to take the trio online would add to the already growing number of redundancies in British retail.

Upon its collapse, Arcadia put around 13,000 jobs at risk.

Meanwhile, John Lewis, Boots, Harrods and Selfridges have reduced their headcount as retailers navigate the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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