Why did Boohoo buy Debenhams?

And more importantly, was it a good idea?

by Stephen Jones

At one time a price of £55m for a former jewel in the British retail crown would have had most in the trade spitting out their coffee in disbelief.

But the fee, paid by online fashion retailer Boohoo for the stricken department chain Debenhams, is eye-catching not only because it is mere months since Mike Ashley had a £125m offer turned down - it’s being labelled by some as (yet another) death knell for the UK high street. 

Boohoo will acquire the Debenhams brand and intellectual property as well as its online infrastructure. The department store’s 118 brick and mortar sites will close once existing stock is sold, taking up to 12,000 jobs with them. 

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