By PAN PYLAS, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Around 25,000 U.K. retailing jobs remain under threat even as it emerged Monday that online fashion firm Boohoo has bought Debenhams, one of the country’s oldest department store chains, and rival ASOS confirmed it wants to pick up parts of Arcadia Group.
The developments illustrate the huge changes taking place in Britain’s retailing scene during the coronavirus pandemic. With shops selling non-essential items closed once again, many retail outlets, big and small, face the prospect of closing for good.
Boohoo’s acquisition of the Debenhams brand and website for 55 million pounds ($75 million) will see it turn a traditional retailing outlet into an online-only operation.
The Debenhams name will survive, but the 118 stores will close for good as Boohoo sees little value in them when so much shopping now takes place online, a shift that has been accelerated by the coronavirus