Asos' Arcadia deal to bring another high-street icon online

February 1, 2021
The deal will see the brands' stores shut down, putting thousands of jobs at risk.
(Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Online fashion retailer Asos is to pay £265 million (about $362 million) for Topshop and other high-street brands from retail tycoon Philip Green's decimated Arcadia Group, in another blow for brick-and-mortar retail.

The deal, which will see Asos pay an extra £65 million for current and future stock, also includes Topman, HIIT and Miss Selfridge. However, it does not include the brands' 70 retail locations, creating uncertainty for 2,500 jobs.

The acquisition marks another milestone in the fashion's ongoing ecommerce migration with dire consequences for the UK’s high street brands. The news comes a month after online retailer Boohoo—which is also in talks to buy Arcadia’s remaining brands Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton—bought failed department store chain Debenhams with plans to relaunch it as an online marketplace, putting 12,000 jobs at risk.

Arcadia Group entered into administration in November, putting an end to Green's decades-long presence on the high street. It is by no means the only retailer to have suffered the impact of the pandemic on already-struggling sales. Aside from Debenhams, companies including Bonmarche, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Oasis shut their doors last year.

Meanwhile, online retailers have experienced a surge in sales in 2020. Asos saw revenue rise by nearly 20% to stand at £3.3 billion in the year to Aug. 31. Boohoo reported revenue of £816.5 million for the six months ended Aug. 30, compared with £564.9 million for the same period the year before.

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