Online fashion retailer Boohoo Group has bought Debenhams for £55 million – with plans to go online-only and close all of its high street stores, including Debenhams Gloucester.
The Gloucester store is one of 130 across the UK which are due to reopen as soon as possible after lockdown to sell off current stock before closing permanently, when Boohoo will take over and relaunch the Debenhams brand as an online-only retailer.
Boohoo said that it plans create ‘the UK’s largest marketplace across fashion, beauty, sport and homeware,’ as it also takes on all of Debenhams in-house brands including Faith, Maine, Mantaray and Principles – as well as planning to expand the range of products sold on the Debenhams website.
The acquisition will also see Boohoo Group move into the beauty marketplace for the first time as it will sell make-up, skincare and fragrance under the Debenhams brand.
Receiving around 300 million website visits every year, the Debenhams website is one of the UK’s top 10 retail websites, with Boohoo planning on ‘unlocking Debenham’s online opportunity’ as customers move more towards online shopping and away from high street stores.
Debenhams joint administrator and partner of FRP Advisory, Geoff Rowley, said: ‘We are pleased to have secured the future for this great brand, and to have created the opportunity for a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge in a different shape beyond the pandemic.
‘I expect that the agreement with Boohoo may provide some job opportunities but we regret that this outcome does not safeguard the jobs of Debenhams’ employees beyond the winding down period.’
The future of the Debenhams Gloucester building in Kings Square is uncertain at this stage.