Online fashion brand Boohoo has bought the online businesses of Oasis and Warehouse, which had been owned by Aurora Fashions, after the company was forced to close in March 2020 due to coronavirus outbreak.
Initially, the company’s brands and stock, including 90 UK stores and warehouses, had been bought by Hilco Capital, before Boohoo’s acquisition of them.
Customers that had made online purchases from both the Oasis and Warehouse brands have not been receiving order for a number of weeks.
According to the BBC: “The previous owner had been in talks to sell the businesses before the crisis, but no buyer could be found for the High Street stores as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the shift of shoppers to online.”
Sophie Lund-Yates, equality analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told the BBC that Boohoo will need to refresh both online businesses in order to make them appealing to younger consumers.
She said: “It’s a similar move to the Karen Millen and Coast acquisitions, but while we’ve heard trading’s going well with these additions, we haven’t had any numbers to crunch, so it’s hard to say what the big picture looks like.”
Boohoo has stated that its online sales rose by 45% in the three months to May, which it put down to switching from a focus on evening outfits to athleisure wear.
Carol Kane, joint chief executive of Boohoo, told The Guardian: “During the lockdown shoppers had switched away from body-con dresses and evening outfits to athleisure wear such as hoodies, jogging pants and nightwear suited to time indoors. It is more of a casual package”.
Boohoo is known for celebrating individuality with clothes – introducing more than 500 new products per week. The brand launched in 2006 and has since become the 83rd most popular fashion and clothing brand, according to YouGov Ratings data collected between May 2019 and May 2020.
It collaborates with fashion influencers and, in 2019, it collaborated with Love Island star Kaz Crossley on its athleisure collection.
The company, based in Manchester, has purchased other struggling fashion brands in recent years, such as Coast and MissPap. It also owns other popular brands, including PLT and Nasty Gal – Nasty Gal brand’s assets were bought in 2017 for £15m.
According to The Guardian, Boohoo effectively adapted its supply chain to difficulties in connection to factory closures in China, and distancing rules in UK factories. High Street retailers have been facing a tough environment due to the coronavirus outbreak causing changes in people’s shopping habits. According to Boohoo, its social media strategy is what drives its growth.