Fast-fashion retailer Boohoo has bought the Debenhams brand and website for £55m.
Boohoo said it was a “transformational deal” and a “huge step”. But the deal means that up to 12,000 jobs at the department store chain are set to go.
As it will move the brand online and not take on the firm’s remaining 118 High Street stores or its workforce.
Boohoo has already bought a number of High Street brands out of administration. It snapped up Oasis, Coast and Karen Millen, but not the associated stores.
Boohoo said Debenhams was expected to relaunch on Boohoo’s web platform later this year.
In the meantime, Debenhams will continue to operate its website for an agreed period.
Asos says it is in “exclusive” talks to buy the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands out of administration.
But the online retailer said it only wanted the brands, not their shops, suggesting any deal would cost jobs.
The current owner of the brands, Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, fell into administration last November putting 13,000 jobs at risk.
Asos said it was “a compelling opportunity” to buy “strong brands that resonate well with its customer base”.
“However, at this stage, there can be no certainty of a transaction and Asos will keep shareholders updated as appropriate,” it added.