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Online fashion retailer Boohoo must give tired Arcadia brands attention for them to thrive


London, British online fashion retailer Boohoo has bought three clothing brands owned by the collapsed Arcadia retail group for 25.2 million pounds (USD 34.5 million). Boohoo bought the inventory and online businesses of the Arcadia brands – Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton. The deal did not include the brands’ 214 remaining U.K. shops, which will close, and around 2,450 employees were told Monday that their jobs have been axed.

Following the news that the boohoo group has bought Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton out of administration; Emily Salter, Apparel Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on this news:

“The £25.2m acquisition of Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis completes the transition of Philip Green’s former high street empire solely to the online channel in a move that has been facilitated by COVID-19 and will significantly change the face of UK physical retail. Along with the boohoo group’s acquisition of Debenhams, this will diversity its range of brands, with these Arcadia brands a natural fit for Debenhams as an online marketplace. However, with so much already on the boohoo group’s plate, it must ensure they receive the revamp they desperately need instead of letting them fall by the wayside.

“Burton will give the boohoo group the opportunity to grow share in the menswear market, with its wider customer base providing it with a stronger path to potential growth than boohooMAN. However, Burton’s heavy focus on formalwear has been rendered redundant throughout the pandemic, with demand unlikely to fully return as working from home continues, so its product focus will need to be refreshed. Wallis’ core customer is females over 45, a demographic which the boohoo group has little experience of targeting and will be less receptive towards the group’s usual strategy of heavy discounting and social media-led marketing. Dorothy Perkins will be a better fit with the group’s current stable of brands, with a similar shopper base to Oasis and Warehouse, however the group will need to establish a unique selling point for Dorothy Perkins to create differentiation between the brands.”