ASOS, Topshop and the future of the British high street

Two huge deals in the space of a week leave retail bosses worrying about what they stand for.

by Stephen Jones

Winter 2021 will be remembered as a climactic moment for the British high street. 

A week after Boohoo, the pure play online fashion retailer, acquired the brand and digital rights to Debenhams, its great rival ASOS sealed a similar deal to acquire Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT from Philip Green’s fallen Arcadia Group. Seventy stores will close.

The £265m deal - which includes £30m of stock and which will see 300 design, buying and partnerships staff also move across - is mutually beneficial from a brand perspective, says Anusha Couttigane, principal fashion analyst at Kantar. 

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