Fast-fashion etailer Boohoo has acquired the online business and IP rights of premium womenswear brands Karen Millen and Coast, putting 1,110 jobs at risk.
Boohoo bought the online arm and all associated IP rights for the retailers for £18.2m in a pre-pack administration. A total of 62 immediate redundancies have been made.
Boohoo said: “The group believes the online business of these brands are highly complementary additions to its scalable multi-brand platform and their acquisition extends the group’s offer as part of its vision to lead the fashion ecommerce market globally.”
Karen Millen and Coast currently have a London head office, 32 stores and operate through 177 concessions in the UK, employing around 1,100 people in total in the UK. The international arm of the business will continue trading in the short term.
Joint administrators, Rob Harding and Richard Hawes, at Deloitte said: ”Whilst the online business will continue, Karen Millen and Coast will continue to trade in store for a short time whilst the administrators realise the other assets of the companies.
“As we continue to see, the retail trading environment in the UK remains extremely challenging. Karen Millen has been seeking to address the financial challenges that it faced by pursuing a sale of the business and, whilst a sale of the whole business has not been deliverable, the Boohoo transaction facilitates the survival of these iconic British brands through an online platform. We thank all employees and other key stakeholders for their support at this difficult time.”
Boohoo Group CEO, John Lyttle added: ”The acquisition of the online business of two great and renowned British brands in Karen Millen and Coast represents another milestone in the Group’s growth story as it continues to invest in its scalable multi-brand platform and gain further share in the global fashion e-commerce market.”