Debenhams has reportedly secured a buyer in fashion retailer Boohoo Group, which has agreed to purchase the department store’s brand name.
The agreed upon price is set at a low £55 million because the deal does not include any of Debenhams’ many stores – a decision that is expected to result in the loss of over 10,000 jobs when the sites close.
Instead, Boohoo plans to turn the department store chain into an online-only offering, taking advantage of Debenhams’ fashion brands and customer lists.
Sky News revealed that Debenhams’ 118 stores will reopen once Covid restrictions allow, but for the sole purpose of selling off existing stock.
A press release from Boohoo Group this morning revealed that it hopes to create “the UK’s largest marketplace across fashion, beauty, sport and homeware.”
John Lyttle, Bohoo CEO, commented: “The acquisition of the Debenhams brand is an important development for the Group, as we seek to capture incremental growth opportunities arising from the accelerating shift to online retail.
“We have developed a successful multi-brand direct-to-consumer platform that continues to disrupt the markets that we operate in.
“The acquisition represents an exciting strategic opportunity to transform our target addressable market through the creation of an online marketplace that leverages Debenhams’ high brand awareness and traffic through the development of beauty and fashion partnerships connecting brands with consumers.”
Meanwhile, Mahmud Kamani, executive chairman, added: “This is a transformational deal for the Group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as e-commerce continues to grow.
“Our ambition is to create the UK’s largest marketplace. Our acquisition of the Debenhams brand is strategically significant as it represents a huge step which accelerates our ambition to be a leader, not just in fashion eCommerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.”