Guildford Debenhams
Image Source: Matt Brown
Chloe Shakesby

boohoo to relaunch Debenhams as online-only retailer following £55m acquisition

An online fashion retailer has announced that it has acquired a high street brand in a deal worth £55m.

boohoo announced this morning its acquisition of Debenhams Retail, which went into liquidation at the end of last year.

The company is aiming to rebuild and relaunch Debenhams online, and is expecting to open the store’s virtual doors in the first quarter of 2022.

The acquisition will allow the fashion brand to expand into new areas such as sport, beauty and homeware.

boohoo will not be taking on any of Debenhams’ stores or current staff.

John Lyttle, CEO of boohoo, commented: “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.

“We have developed a successful multi-brand direct-to-consumer platform that continues to disrupt the markets that we operate in.

“The acquisition represents an exciting 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.”

Mahmud Kamani, executive chairman, said: “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.”

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