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

ASOS has bought Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge from Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group in a deal that is expected to close 70 shops forever.

It comes after Sir Philip Green’s retail empire collapsed into administration in November following “severely impacted” sales.

ASOS has confirmed a takeover of Arcadia brandsCredit: Alamy

ASOS is paying £330million for the brands plus leftover and future stock, with the takeover also including leisurewear range HIIT.

But the deal doesn’t include the physical shops, which means 2,500 retail staff are at risk of redundancy.

ASOS has agreed to take on 300 people within the Arcadia Group business, including buyers and designers.

The websites for Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge will remain open until the deal is completed at the end of the week.

Sir Philip Green purchased Arcadia Group for £295m in 2002

Sir Philip Green purchased Arcadia Group for £295m in 2002Credit: PA:Press Association

Topshop is a staple brand in the Arcadia Group

Topshop is a staple brand in the Arcadia GroupCredit: London News Pictures

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.

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.

After this, each brand will move over to the ASOS website and customers trying to access these websites will be redirected to ASOS.

The deal, worth £265million for the brands, a further £30million for existing stock and £35million for stock on order, is expected to be completed by February 4.

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.

Websites for each brand remain open for home delivery orders.

Arcadia Group, which was bought by Sir Philip Green for £850million in 2002, also owns Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis.

Last week, Boohoo said it was in exclusive talks to buy all three of these clothing retailers in a move which will also not include any stores.

A deal has yet to be officially confirmed, and it’s not clear how far along the talks are.

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 usually leads 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.

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 owned 444 stores in the UK and 22 shops internationally.

But administrator Deloitte has already sold off several 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.

The latest troubles for Arcadia come after the retail empire was saved from the brink of collapse in 2019 by Sir Philip’s wife and registered Arcadia owner Lady Tina Green after she agreed to bail him out.

The move saw Arcadia shut 48 stores and axe 1,000 jobs.

Sir Philip came under fire in April 2020 for asking for taxpayer help to pay wages during the first months of the coronavirus crisis, with critics demanding the millionare businessman should instead “sell one his yachts”.

Nick Beighton, CEO of ASOS, said: “We are extremely proud to be the new owners of the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands.

“The acquisition of these iconic British brands is a hugely exciting moment for ASOS and our customers and will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy.

“We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further.”

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.

Model shows of ASOS’ Teddy Bear fleece dress for winter


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