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Online & Digital

Boohoo acquires Karen Millen and Coast putting 1,100 jobs at risk

Online fashion retailer Boohoo has acquired British brands Karen Millen and Coast, which were recently put up for sale by their owner Icelandic bank, Kaupthing.

The group has acquired only the online business and all associated intellectual property rights from the administrators of Karen Millen Fashions Limited and Karen Millen Retail Limited, both of which entered into administration on 6 August 2019, for £18.2m.

However, the move now leaves 1,100 staff at Karen Millen and Coast at risk of losing their jobs, as both brands operate out of a combined 32 stores and 177 concessions across the UK – of which the offer does not include.

According to the BBC, administrators Deloitte said the stores would trade for a “short time”, and it has been announced that there will be 62 immediate redundancies.

Boohoo believes that 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 e-commerce market globally.

In its most recent financial year to February 2019, unaudited management information shows that direct online sales from the websites of Karen Millen and Coast totalled £28.4m.

John Lyttle, group CEO, said: “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.”

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