Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Wallis the latest brands to disappear from the high street

Dorothy Perkins has seven standalone stores in the north, four of which are split with Burton.
Dorothy Perkins has seven standalone stores in the north, four of which are split with Burton.

DOROTHY Perkins, Burton and Wallis are the latest fashion brands set to disappear from the north’s high streets and shopping centres after online retailer Boohoo bought all three for £25.2 million.

The deal is for the inventory, e-commerce and digital assets of the businesses, which were owned by Sir Philip Green's Arcadia retail empire when it entered administration in December.

But it does not include the brands' remaining shops, which will close, according to administrators from Deloitte.

It affects three standalone Dorothy Perkins stores in Omagh, Enniskillen and Armagh. Four units split between Dorothy Perkins and Burton in Belfast’s CastleCourt, Newry’s Buttercrane, Ballymena’s Fairhill and Craigavon’s Rushmere shopping centres, will also disappear, along with a Wallis store in Derry's Foyleside.

The sale represents a further blow to the Menary’s chain as well as Houston Bros, which included Dorothy Perkins and Wallis concessions.

Five of Menary’s stores and four stores belonging to Houston Bros stock Dorothy Perkins or Wallis wares. Debenhams, which also included Burton, Wallis and Dorothy Perkins concessions, is already confirmed for closure.

Deloitte said 2,450 staff were informed on Monday. Just 260 jobs, mainly head office roles, will be saved as they move with the brands to Boohoo. These include jobs in design, buying and merchandising, and the businesses' digital wings.

Some other staff will be kept on during a months-long transition period.

The deal will see the brands transfer over to online fashion giant Boohoo, whose fortunes have increased as those of its high street predecessors waned.

Last month Boohoo said it had bought the brand and website of department store chain Debenhams for £55m. But it did not take on the company's 118 stores, meaning around 12,000 jobs were likely to be lost.

Boohoo chief executive John Lyttle said: "We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the assets associated with the online businesses of the three established brands Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis.

"Acquiring these well-known brands in British fashion out of administration ensures their heritage is sustained, while our investment aims to transform them into brands that are fit for the current market environment.

"We have a successful track record of integrating British heritage fashion brands on to our proven multi-brand platform, and we are looking forward to bringing these brands on board."

Boohoo chairman Mahmud Kamani added: "This is a great acquisition for the group as we extend our market share across a broader demographic, capitalising on growth opportunities as more and more customers shop online.

"We continue to grow our portfolio of brands and customer base, strengthening our position as a leader in global fashion e-commerce."

Arcadia was long one of the biggest players on the UK high street, but the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a final blow to the business, which had struggled with a shift in shopping behaviour in recent years.

In December it entered administration, putting thousands of jobs on the line.

While the business's demise has been partly brought about by a shift to online retail, its brands will now continue to live online, after several deals.

Last week Boohoo rival Asos, also an online player, signed a £330m deal to buy Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT from Arcadia.

Administrators have now sold all of Arcadia's brands, raising around £500m to pay off creditors. There is still some property in the portfolio left to sell.