ASOS confirms Topshop takeover - here's what it means for shop staff

Monday, 1st February 2021, 9:54 am
Updated Monday, 1st February 2021, 10:11 am
ASOS is buying four of the Arcadia group's brands (Photo: Shutterstock)

ASOS has confirmed it has sealed the takeover of Topshop and three other brands from the collapse of the Arcadia retail empire in a £295 million deal.

The online fashion retailer is buying Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT, alongside Topshop, after Sir Philip Green’s retail group fell into administration in November last year.

What does it mean for staff?

Administrators for Arcadia said that ASOS has paid an additional £65 million for current and pre-ordered stock, and it will take on around 300 employees as part of the deal, but this will not include any of the brand’s stores.

ASOS said its acquisition of the four brands will “resonate” with its core customer base of “20-somethings” in the UK, and it saw a “significant opportunity” to drive further growth from these globally.

The online retailer has seen strong sales throughout the pandemic and is already one of the biggest wholesalers for the brands that it has acquired.

The deal is expected to complete on 4 February, but neither ASOS nor the administrators have yet made any mention of the staff who worked for the group, nor what will happen to their jobs. Around 2,500 shop workers face uncertainty over their future employment.

ASOS chief executive 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.

“We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further, using our design, marketing, technology and logistics expertise, and working closely with key strategic retail partners in the UK and around the world.”

What about the other brands?

Evans, another of Arcadia’s brands, was bought by Australia’s City Chic in December in a deal worth £23 million.

However, other brands in the retail group have not yet been sold, including Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton.

It emerged last week that fellow online fashion retailer Boohoo was in “exclusive” talks to snap up these brands, with the news coming after it sealed a deal to buy the Debenhams brand and website for £55 million.

The deal did not include any of the retailer’s remaining 118 high street stores or its workforce, meaning up to 12,000 jobs were lost.