Following much speculation, it has emerged that Boohoo has secured the Debenhams brand, IP and website for a consideration of £55 million. The deal leaves the 118 remaining Debenhams stores, all stock, and some 12,000 employees behind.
It is Boohoo’s intention to rebuild and relaunch the Debenhams website, taking its business into new categories. It will greatly expand the range of products currently offered by the Debenhams site to create a much larger marketplace which will both benefit its own stable of acquired brands as well as offer opportunities for new brand partners. It will continue to offer Debenhams’ fashion brands. It expects to relaunch Debenhams on the Boohoo Platform early in 2022.
Boohoo CEO John Lyttle commented: “The acquisition represents a 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.”
Executive chairman Mahmud Kamani added: “This is a transformational deal for the group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as eCommerce 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.”
Meanwhile, Debenhams will continue to operate its website for an agreed period to allow for the winding down of its operations. All 118 remaining Debenhams stores will be permanently shuttered.
FRP Advisory, administrators of Debenhams said that they had undertaken a thorough and robust process to achieve the best outcome for Debenhams stakeholders. “This transaction will allow a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge under strong new ownership, including an online operation and the opportunity to secure an international franchise network that will operate under licence using the Debenhams name.”