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Boohoo buys Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton in £25.2m deal

Lauretta Roberts
08 February 2021

Boohoo has finalised the purchase of Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton completing the sell-off of brands from Sir Philip Green's collapsed Arcadia fashion empire.

The Manchester-based online fashion group paid £25.2m in cash, funded from existing reserves, for the brands' the e-commerce and digital assets and associated intellectual property rights, including customer data, related business information and inventory.

As expected, the deal does not include the brands' 214 stores meaning some 2,500 jobs will be lost. Around 260 jobs, mainly head office roles, will however be saved; these include jobs in design, buying and merchandising, and the businesses’ digital wings.

Boohoo said the addition of the brands would underscore the group's reputation as "a leader in the global fashion e-commerce market with over 15 brands across the Group's scalable multi-brand platform".

Boohoo John Lyttle, CEO, commented: "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."

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."

Boohoo has stated its aim to become a global online brand group - in effect a digital version of the likes of Zara-owner Inditex and H&M - and its management team are heavily incentivised to grow the group.

The pandemic has opened up plenty of opportunity for Boohoo to expand. Last year it acquired the collapsed Oasis and Warehouse brands and relaunched them as online-only entities. Last month it acquired the website and brand of Debenhams.com out of liquidation in a move that means the department store's 118 stores will all be permanently closed.

Boohoo was an early favourite to acquire the flagship Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge brands when Arcadia collapsed at the end of last year, but as more bidders entered the race it ended up as an outside race. Those brands went to larger rival ASOS for £265m (plus an extra £65m for existing and in progress stock) in a deal that also includes no stores, however ASOS has said it is looking at the possibility of securing the lease for the flagship Topshop store on Oxford Street, which is part of a separate administration process.

Before Christmas, plus-size brand Evans was sold to Australia's City Chic Collective for £23m. City Chic also declined to take any stores.

Prior to its administration Arcadia employed around 13,000 staff and operated around 450 stores. It had also been the largest concessionaire in Debenhams.

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