Boohoo has acquired the Debenhams brand and website for £55 million from the department store’s joint administrators.
In a statement, the online fashion retailer said the acquisition would provide it with a “fantastic opportunity” to grow its market and increase its wallet share, particularly as Debenhams has a high brand awareness and around 300 million visits to its UK website per annum.
The move will also enable Boohoo to enter the beauty market at scale as Debenhams has six million beauty shoppers and 1.4 million Beauty Club members. It will will also mark Boohoo’s entry into the sports and homeware markets.
Boohoo will be rebuilding and relaunching the Debenhams platform following the acquisition. This will include creating an online marketplace for Debenhams across fashion, beauty, sport and homewares, and adding new beauty brands whilst continuing to operate the current wholesale model for the category,
Meanwhile, Debenhams’ own fashion brands will be absorbed into Boohoo’s current brand portfolio and sold via the core Debenhams site and pureplay websites.
John Lyttle, chief executive of Boohoo, 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.”