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Boohoo set to open one Debenhams store to secure major beauty brands

Lauretta Roberts
15 June 2021

Boohoo Group is set to bring the Debenhams brand back to the high street, but just one store, to help it secure deals with major beauty brands.

The online fashion group acquired the Debenhams brand and website after the historic departments store's liquidation at the start of the year for £55m. However the deal did not involve any of the company's circa 130 stores which have all since been closed.

Boohoo has relaunched the website, populated with an array of its own fashion brands (which now include Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing, Nasty Gal, Miss Pap, Warehouse, Oasis, Karen Millen, Coast, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton), as well as some third party brands such as Ben Sherman and Lee.

The beauty offer on so far includes Benefit, Cosmedix, Elizabeth Arden and Beauty Blender. It also carries fragrances from the likes of Calvin Klein and Chloe, however many big beauty mainstays, such as Chanel, Saint Laurent, Estee Lauder, Clarins and Clinique, are missing.

Negotiations are said to be underway with other leading brands, however beauty had been a hugely successful category for Debenhams and leading brands in the market often insist that any retailer it supplies has at least one physical retail store.

As such the group has confirmed it is in negotiations to open "one store only" outside of London and stressed there were no plans to open further physical stores beyond that.

Before its collapse Debenhams had six million beauty shoppers and 1.4 million Beauty Club members.

When it acquired the Debenhams brand, Boohoo said it was planning to create a leading department store online selling its own brands, as well of those from third parties, in the verticals of fashion, beauty, home and lifestyle.

The beauty market has boomed during the pandemic and retailers such as Next and Harrods are pursuing strategies to open stores dedicated to the sector with Next already having taken over several former Debenhams stores to convert into its The Beauty Hall from Next concept, while Harrods has opened two dedicated H Beauty stores in Milton Keynes and Lakeside, Thurrock, with more to come.

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