Online fashion retailer Boohoo has bought the Debenhams brand and website for a total of £55 million.
However, all of the remaining 118 Debenhams stores will close, with 12,000 jobs unlikely to be saved.
Relaunching the Debenhams platform online
The deal will instead see Boohoo selling Debenhams products, allowing Boohoo to target new customers and enter into the beauty, sport and homeware market.
Boohoo said it “intends to rebuild and relaunch the Debenhams platform, helping further the group’s stated ambition to lead the fashion eCommerce market, and grow into new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.”
Founder and executive chairman, Mahmud Kamani, reiterated this, adding: “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.”
A closing down sale began at 124 Debenhams stores in December 2020, as the administrators continued to seek offers for all or parts of the business.
The firm had also already announced that six shops would not reopen after lockdown, including its flagship department store, located on London's Oxford Street.
This isn’t the first time Boohoo has bought out a well known brand out of administration and turned it into a only-only service, having previously done so with Oasis, Coast and Karen Millen.
Boohoo chief executive, John Lyttle, said: “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.”
The firm said that Debenhams was expected to relaunch on Boohoo's web platform between March and May 2021, but, in the meantime, Debenhams will continue to operate its website for an agreed period of time.