After Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia group went into administration in November of last year, concerns over losing some of the most popular high street brands have arisen for the retail sector. Recently, it has been confirmed that leading online clothing retailer, Asos, will strike a deal to buy four of these cherished Arcadia brands.
Arcadia is a leading retailer group, which owns a variety of labels that are extremely well known on the UK high street. Some of their most popular brands include Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Outfit and Wallis. The name is renowned for their diverse offerings of fashion, catering for a huge spectrum of consumers of all ages and styles. However, as the retail industry evolves, and many brands are beginning to move to online outlets, the Arcadia group have been struggling to compete, with a large portion of their stores relying on their profit taken from the high street. Many retailers are beginning to operate online services, which are now being favoured over the classic high street experience, for a variety of reasons – including the ease of shopping, speed and efficiency of purchase or product return. Whilst ordering online is becoming much more accessible, it does leave the high street retailers in the lurch, with more and more stores closing every year.
Over the past few years, Asos has become one of the most popular online retailers in the fashion industry. Offering a huge selection of products, including men’s clothing, women’s clothing, homeware and gifts. Last year alone, the platform sold over £3 billion worth of stock. With the recent Covid 19 pandemic, Asos has seen a huge increase in orders, as online shopping becomes one of the main outlets for retail. After multiple lockdowns in the UK have shifted our regular spending habits, research shows that volumes of online shopping orders rose by around 52% overall.
During this last week, Asos have officially signed the deal to purchase four brands from the Arcadia group, including Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT. The deal is thought to be worth over £300 million in total, however, there is growing concern over potential job losses as many of the high-street stores have not been included in the sale. Around 50 stores have already seen closure over the past few weeks, resulting in the loss of around 2,500 jobs – with the potential of more closures to come. Around 13,000 jobs have been put at risk following the deal, according to the BBC. Asos commented on their move, saying that it will “…resonate well with our core customers”. Products from all four brands can already be found on the Asos platform – so this is a clever move from the brand to extend their consumer base and a widen the range of product availability. Chief Executive Officer at Asos, Nick Beighton, 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”.
Although the brand has confirmed it has not included many of the Arcadia high street stores in its deal, there are talks of Asos keeping the Oxford Street flagship Topshop/Topman store in central London open. However, nothing yet has been confirmed.
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