The battle of the A: ASOS rescues fashion brand Arcadia for £265m

Mr Phillip Green’s umbrella group of fashion brands originally arose in 1903 as a cross-tailoring company. It is now known for boasting brands such as Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, and its most notable high-street brand, Topshop, with its sales in 2017/2018 concluding to an impressive, yet slowly decreasing £1.2 million.

The multinational retailing company fell into administration in November 2020, following a plummet in sales and profit due to the hard-hitting losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. With their headquarters previously in London, headed by supermodels and London Fashion Week shows, doubt became imminent for the 13,000 jobs the ARCADIA brand hosted.

The millennial born fashion company ASOS features clothes, accessories and shoes for individuals of all ages, selling branded clothing companies, including Topshop, as well as their own branded collections. The online-only retailer’s sales totalled an astounding £2.3 billion in the years of 2017 and 2018, almost 2,000 times more than ARCADIA within the same timeframe.

ASOS have confirmed their purchase of a select few from Mr Phillip Green’s collapsed group for a total of £265 million, specifically Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and the HIIT Brand. While the distinguished fashion brand Boohoo were also in talks to purchase the insolvent group, similar to the british-billionnaire brothers Suber and Mohsin Issa, ASOS came out successful. It is estimated a cost of between £30m and £65m was made for both the current and the pre-ordered stock from the select ARCADIA names, encouraging the thought of successful renovation and continuation of the umbrella brands.

However, the transaction is yet to include the group’s 70 stores, including its most popular flagship store in London’s Oxford Circus, neighbouring the famous NikeTown Store. While the ASOS chief executive, Nick Beighton, has stated that “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”, he has also claimed that the purchase of the London 1994 flagship store is ‘not a priority’.

ASOS has also been quoted stating that the purchase represents a ‘compelling opportunity to acquire strong brands that resonate well”, however, only 300 staff members will be transferred within the deal, leaving 2,500 jobs at risk.

Both the legal and the fashion world will have to keep a close eye on ASOS’s future endeavors with their newly acquired brands to learn what contracts may arise next. 

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