Wednesday 14 July 2021 3:36 pm

Boohoo to bolster Debenhams stores and e-commerce sites in the Middle East

Boohoo, which bought Debenhams for £55m, has partnered with the Alshaya group to bolster the ex-high street staple’s presence in the Middle East.

Kuwait-based Alshaya, which currently run Debenhams stores in shopping malls, will have exclusive rights to operate the Debenhams stores and local e-commerce sites in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Qatar.

The deal will also see Britain’s Boohoo brands in the Middle East’s Debenhams stores in the final quarter of this year, and a new Middle Eastern online platform from early 2022.

Boohoo’s shares lifted slightly in its afternoon trading, up 0.6 per cent to 293.2p per share.

“The Debenhams brand has been popular in the region for a number of years so this is a great opportunity to build on the existing brand,” Boohoo boss John Lyttle said.

“It also offers a new route to market for brands within the Boohoo group, raising their profile in a growing new market. This is a great step as we progress the integration of Debenhams and look at wholesale partnership opportunities.”

After making the bid for collapsed Debenhams in January, which had been on the high street for 240 years, Boohoo bought its brand and website but not its physical stores.

Reports that Boohoo was in talks to open a Debenhams store just outside London swirled in mid June, with the intention to sell only beauty and cosmetic brands – which has not yet been confirmed.

Alshaya group CEO, John Hadden said: “Debenhams is a highly successful and well-loved brand in the Middle East, thanks to sustained store and product innovation over 25 years across fashion, beauty and home.”