Boohoo buys Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton for £25m closing 214 shops and putting 2,450 jobs at risk

BOOHOO has bought Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis from Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group in a deal that will close 214 shops forever.

The takeover spells the end of Sir Philip’s Arcadia Group retail empire after it collapsed into administration in November following “severely impacted” sales.

Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis shops are expected to close forever


Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis shops are expected to close foreverCredit: Alamy Live News

Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis are the last remaining Arcadia Group assets to be sold off after ASOS purchased Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and leisurewear brand HIIT in a deal worth £330million last week.

Boohoo will pay £25.2million for the Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis brands and websites – but the takeover doesn’t include physical stores, meaning 2,450 shop staff are at risk of redundancy.

Around 260 employees from Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis will move over to Boohoo, including buyers and designers.

Boohoo said each brand is expected to relaunch on Boohoo’s web platform by May 2021.

Arcadia Group which was purchased by Sir Philip Green for £850million in 2002


Arcadia Group which was purchased by Sir Philip Green for £850million in 2002Credit: PA:Press Association

Retailers hit by Covid

THE pandemic has pushed struggling retailers over the edge. Here are some other high-profile retail names hit by the virus outbreak:

Aldo shoe shop went into administration in May resulting in five UK store closures and it’s searching for a buyer for the remaining business, though franchised stores are not part of the process and concessions remain trading.

Benson Beds fell into administration in June with Harveys Furniture and was quickly bought back by its owners in a prearranged deal.

Brighthouse fell into administration at the end of March.

Cath Kidston went into administration in April and its online, franchise and wholesale arms were bought back by its owners resulting in the closure of 60 stores and 908 redundancies.

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Debenhams is set to close all of its 124 shops permanently and disappear from the high street after rescue talks to save the chain failed in December.

Harveys Furniture, the UK’s second-largest furniture retailer, fell into administration in June and continues to trade and honour existing orders while it plans to close 20 stores and make 240 staff redundant.

Laura Ashley said in March it would permanently shut 70 stores and cut hundreds of jobs after appointing administrators.

LK Bennet brought in administrators last year and is proposing to close stores and reduce rents to save the business.

Oasis and Warehouse The British fashion brands fell into administration in mid-April after failing to find buyers, and online fashion group Boohoo said in June it was buying the brands but closing all stores.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Peacocks and Jaeger owners fell into administration in November, putting 4,716 jobs at risk.

Monsoon Accessorize went into administration in June and was then bought out of it by its founder. The deal meant 35 stores shut permanently and 545 staff were made redundant – but it also saved 155 stores and more than 2,500 jobs across the UK and Ireland.

But individual websites for Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis are also expected to remain functional once the takeover is complete.

Websites for each brand remain currently open for home delivery orders.

As with all clothing companies, which have been deemed non-essential during the coronavirus crisis, the physical stores for these brands are currently closed due to lockdown restrictions.

It’s unclear if shops will open when lockdown is lifted to shift stock.

We’ve asked Boohoo what the deal means for shoppers with Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis gift cards and we’ll update this article when we know more.

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Administrator Deloitte confirmed in December that you can only use Arcadia vouchers to pay for up to 50% of a purchase.

That means shoppers currently have to spend the same amount as the value of the gift card they want to use.

The takeover, which is expected to be completed by February 9, comes just two weeks after Boohoo bought the Debenhams website and brand for £55million.

This deal also didn’t include physical shops, meaning the remaining 118 Debenhams sites are expected to shut, with 12,000 jobs at risk.

What does it mean when a company goes into administration?

ADMINISTRATION is when all control of a company is passed to an appointed to a licensed insolvency practitioner.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the business.

Instead, administrators will try to help a company find ways to repay debts or solve its cashflow problems.

Administration can last anywhere from a few weeks to up to a year or more.

But if the administration process can’t rescue the company or find a new owner, this can lead to liquidation.

Liquidation is the process of selling all assets and then dissolving the company completely.

Arcadia Group confirmed it had collapsed into administration on November 30, putting 13,000 jobs at risk, after sales dived across the brand due to the coronavirus crisis.

Administrator Deloitte has since been selling off assets including the sale of Evans to City Chic Collective for £23million.

In an announcement last month, Arcadia Group also confirmed it would shut another 31 stores, including 21 of the group’s Outfit shops.

Topshop’s flagship Oxford Street store is reportedly being sold off too.

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Sir Philip’s stores have also been hit by competition from online retailers such as ASOS and Boohoo.

At the time of falling into administration, Arcadia Group, which was purchased by Sir Philip for £850million in 2002, owned 444 stores in the UK and 22 shops internationally.

John Lyttle, CEO of Boohoo, said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the assets associated with the online businesses of the three established brands Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis.

“Acquiring these well-known brands in British fashion out of administration ensures their heritage is sustained, while our investment aims to transform them into brands that are fit for the current market environment.”

Mahmud Kamani, executive chairman, said: “This is a great acquisition as we extend our market share across a broader demographic, capitalising on growth opportunities as more and more customers shop online.

“We continue to grow our portfolio of brands and customer base, strengthening our position as a leader in global fashion e-commerce.”

In mid-August, more than 43,000 retail jobs had been axed since the start of coronavirus lockdown as high streets struggled to survive.

AldoDebenhamsJaeger, OasisPeacocks and Warehouse have all collapsed since the pandemic began.

Which shops can stay open during England’s national lockdown? Full list of essential stores.

ASOS buys Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge closing 70 shops forever with 2,500 jobs at risk


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