Boohoo has announced plans to buy the Debenhams website and brand in a £55m deal.
The deal was announced this morning and whilst Boohoo is buying the brand’s name and website – it will not save the 118 department stores, which will all close down. The store closures could result in 12,000 job losses.
Boohoo said in a statement: “The group will only be acquiring the brands and associated intellectual property rights. The transaction does not include Debenhams’ retail stores, stock or any financial services.”
The Debenhams website is in the UK’s top ten retail websites and receives 300m million visits a year.
Mahmud Kamani, executive chairman at Boohoo, commented on the deal: “This is a transformational deal for the group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as e-commerce 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 e-commerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.”
Following the news, Boohoo shares jumped 3.7% to 348.7p per share.
John Lyttle, chief executive of the online retailer, said: “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,” he added.