Online fashion retailer Boohoo buys Debenhams brand for £55m

25 January 2021, 07:00 | Updated: 25 January 2021, 07:16

Debenhams collapsed into administration last year
Debenhams collapsed into administration last year. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Online fashion retailer Boohoo has confirmed it has bought the Debenhams brand for £55 million and will relaunch the department store as an online-only operation from next year.

Bosses said the deal will not include saving Debenhams' stores which will close for good as part of a structured winding down of the business.

The deal means that the fast fashion retailer will take on the brand and website, but none of the company's remaining 118 High Street stores or any staff members.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the purchase price is expected to be about £50 million.

The 242-year old department store is currently in the process of closing down after administrators failed to secure a rescue deal.

1,200 jobs are expected to be lost across the company.

The company started a liquidation process last month, and recently announced that six stores would not be reopening, including the flagship Oxford Street shop in central London.

Boohoo has already bought a number of High Street brands out of administration, including Oasis, Coast and Karen Millen.

Debenhams had been struggling for years due to falling profits, and has been in administration since last April.

The company was also hit hard by the coronavirus lockdowns, where non-essential retailers were forced to close their doors to the public in a bid to stop the spread.

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley had made an offer for Debenhams after it was initially put up for sale in April.

However the takeover offer, thought to be in the region of £125m, was rejected as being too low, leaving JD Sports as the last remaining bidder, which also fell through.

In early December, the Frasers Group said it was looking into a possible rescue deal for Debenhams.

One of the biggest issues, it said, was the collapse into administration of Arcadia.