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Gloucestershire Business News

Debenhams stores face closure after £55m Boohoo deal

Debenhams store in Gloucester and others across the country are to close after online fashion retailer Boohoo bought chain's brand and website.

The £55million deal does not include the remaining 118 Debenhams department stores with up to 12,000 jobs set to go.

Debenhams entered a winding-up process last month with stores selling remaining stock before closing.

This will continue once the shops are allowed to reopen after the current coronavirus lockdown while Debenhams will continue to operate its website before being relaunched on the Boohoo platform.

Read more: Gloucester needs to adapt for Debenhams replacement 

The Debenhams website is among the top 10 retail platforms in the UK and Boohoo said the deal would help it create the largest marketplace across fashion, beauty, sport and homeware.

Boohoos has already bought the brands of high street brands Oasis, Coast and Karen Millen out of administration without buying the stores.

Boohoo executive chairman Mahmud Kamani 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."

In the year to August 31, Debenhams generated unaudited online net revenues of around £400million.

Debenhams had already announced six of its 124 remaining outlets would not be reopening after lockdown.

Administrators FRP Advisory said: "This transaction will allow a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge under strong new ownership, including an online operation and the opportunity to secure an international franchise network that will operate under licence using the Debenhams name."

Debenhams, which has been a fixture on high streets for 242 years, entered administration for the second time last year and cut around 6,500 jobs since May.

Restructuring specialist Hilco was called in last autumn to work on a possible liquidation.

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