Online retailer Asos snaps up Topshop, Miss Selfridge, other Arcadia brands for $538 million

Online retailer ASOS is buying Topshop and other brands from the collapsed Arcadia group, but it won't be taking on any stores as part of the deal.

LONDON - British online fashion group Asos has bought brands, including Topshop, from collapsed retail giant Arcadia, administrators said Monday (Feb 1), under a deal which could put 2,500 jobs at risk.

Administrators Deloitte said in a statement that Asos has sealed the purchase of key brands Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT for £330 million (S$538 million).

However, the deal will not include retail stores and therefore casts a shadow over the future of 2,500 jobs, according to a source close to the matter.

"Asos will acquire the brands, intellectual property and inventory. In addition, approximately 300 employees across design, buying and retail partnerships will transfer to Asos," Deloitte said, adding that the deal will be completed on Thursday.

Asos said in a separate statement that the four iconic Arcadia brands would "resonate" with its youthful customer base in Britain.

"This acquisition represents a compelling strategic opportunity in support of our mission to become the No. 1 destination for fashion loving 20-somethings worldwide," it said.

"These are strong brands that resonate well with our core customer base. Brand equity is strongest in the UK and they have an established presence in both the US and Germany, two of our key strategic markets."

The announcement comes after Asos rival Boohoo announced last Friday that it was in talks with Arcadia administrators to buy three of its brands - Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton.

Boohoo also agreed last week to buy the intellectual property assets of failed department store chain Debenhams.

Both Arcadia and Debenhams collapsed in December - together risking the loss of 25,000 jobs - having struggled to transition from a bricks-and-mortar business long before the coronavirus pandemic forced shoppers online.