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Boohoo to ‘rebuild and relaunch’ Debenhams after acquisition

Online fashion retailer acquires brand and website for £55m; acquisition will help its aims to grow into new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.

Ambitious online fashion retailer Boohoo intends to ‘rebuild and relaunch’ the Debenhams platform at the same time as expanding its reach into new categories.

It was confirmed this morning (January 25) that Boohoo has acquired the Debenhams brand and website for £55 million. However, the deal does not include Debenhams’ retail stores, stock or any financial services.

Debenhams’ online platform was a strong draw for Boohoo – it has approximately 300 million UK website visits per annum, making it a top ten retail website in the UK by traffic.

Boohoo is now planning to create the UK’s largest marketplace across fashion, beauty, sport and homeware, expanding the range of products sold via the Debenhams marketplace.

For beauty category, the group will continue to operate the current wholesale model, but will also look to add new beauty brands via the marketplace model, while Debenhams’ own fashion brands will be absorbed into Boohoo’s current brand portfolio and sold via the core Debenhams site and their own pureplay websites, reported Fashion United.

“This is a transformational deal for the group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as ecommerce continues to grow,” said Mahmud Kamani, executive chairman of Boohoo. “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.”

John Lyttle, ceo of Boohoo, added: “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.”

Debenhams is expected to relaunch on the group’s platform in the first quarter of FY22.

Debenhams will continue to operate its website for an agreed period before the relaunch on the group’s platform, while a licence has been granted to allow for the winding down of Debenhams’ retail stores.

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