- Boohoo has tied up a £25.2m deal to buy the remaining brands of Arcadia: Dorothy Perkins, Wallis & Burton
- Boohoo will buy all the ecommerce & digital assets of the three brands, as well as their inventory, and transfer 260 jobs
- The deal does not include the brands’ 214 stores, concessions or franchises, putting 2450 jobs at risk
By guest author Elias Jahshan from Retail Gazette
Around 2450 Arcadia Group staff are being told today that their jobs have been axed after online retail giant Boohoo bought Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton for GBP 25.2 million.
The deal is for the inventory, ecommerce and digital assets of the three brands, which were owned by Sir Philip Green’s retail empire when it entered administration in December.
However, it does not include Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton’s 214 remaining shops, which will close, according to administrators from Deloitte.
Staff were emailed this morning, and will be informed during the day.
Around 260 jobs, mainly head office roles, will be saved as they move with the brands to Boohoo Group.
These include jobs in design, buying and merchandising, and the brands’ digital wings.
Deloitte added that some other staff will be kept on during a months-long transition period.
The deal will see Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton transfer over to Boohoo Group, whose fortunes have increased as those of its high street predecessors waned.
Last month the online fashion retail giant bought the brand and website of Debenhams for GBP 55 million.
Like its new deal with the remaining brands of Arcadia Group, the Debenhams deal did not take on its 118 stores, meaning around 12000 jobs were likely to be lost.
“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,” Boohoo chief executive John Lyttle said.
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 on to our proven multi-brand platform, and we are looking forward to bringing these brands on board.”
Boohoo chairman Mahmud Kamani said: “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.”
Green’s Arcadia Group was long one of the biggest players on the UK high street, but the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a final blow to his retail empire, which had struggled with a shift in shopping behaviour in recent years.
In December it entered administration, putting around 13,000 of jobs on the line at the time.
While Arcadia Group’s demise has been partly brought about by a shift to online retail, its brands will now continue to live online, after several deals.
Last week Boohoo rival and another online retail giant Asos signed a £330 million deal to buy Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT from Arcadia.
Although 300 employees would be transferred to Asos, the future of 2500 Arcadia staff was bleak as the the network of 70 Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge stores was not included in the deal.
Administrators have now sold all of Arcadia’s brands, raising around GBP 500 million to pay off creditors.
There is still some property in the portfolio left to sell.