Almost two months after Hilco Capital secured a deal to buy the Oasis and Warehouse brands, saving it from administration, we hear that the Oasis and Warehouse online businesses and their associated intellectual property would be bought by Boohoo.
Boohoo has a market value of almost £4.7bn. Its portfolio of brands now moves to 9. Just last month it struck a deal to buy the minority interests in women’s fashion retailer, PrettyLitttleThing.
Today we hear that Hilco Capital, the former owner of HMV, has agreed a deal with administrators regarding high street fashion chains, Oasis and Warehouse.
Hilco has agreed to buy both brands, along with Idle Man and the stock from their many outlets across the UK. So, the intellectual property assets and some stock has been sold.
However, Oasis and Warehouse Group’s stores are not included in the deal, meaning immediate redundancy is the case for over 1,800 staff. The staff have been told no statutory redundancy pay will be received.
Since, April 22 the retailers stopped trading online because of the “rising costs of fulfilling online orders and associated logistical challenges, after appointing Deloitte as administrator the previous week.”
Joint administrator of Deloitte, Rob Harding explained the sadness of having to said: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce a sale of the business has not been possible and that we are announcing so many redundancies today. This is a very difficult time for the Group’s employees and other key stakeholders and we will do everything we can to support them through this.”
Addressing the rumours from yesterday, it is now confirmed that high street fashion chains, Oasis and Warehouse have fallen into administration. Deloitte are the appointed administrator.
92 stores and 437 concessions are affected, all these being in UK. 200 jobs have been lost with immediate effect. Around 1,800 staff, including those on the shop floor, in concessions and those at head office, will be furloughed.
The brands will continue to be sold online, whilst the administrators work on finding a buyer.
Chief Executive of Oasis and Warehouse, Hash Ladha explained the situation as unpredictable, shocking and difficult for all.
Joint Administrator at Deloitte, Rob Harding said how the retail industry as a whole was suffering devastating effects from coronavirus.
“Despite management’s best efforts over recent weeks, and significant interest from potential buyers, it has not been possible to save the business in its current form.”
It is thought that there will be interest from bidders in buying the businesses but of course with the current economic situation, it is all very uncertain.
Oasis and Warehouse look likely to be the next casualties of the coronavirus crisis. Sky News has reported that they are about to file an intention to appoint administrators at Deloitte, with an announcement expected later on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Three weeks ago The Oasis and Warehouse Group, which is owned by the failed Icelandic lender Kaupthing, was approached for a possible sale from an unnamed buyer. Kaupthing has managed to offload some of its brands already such as Karen Millen and Coast to Boohoo.
Although there is understood to have been strong interest in a deal, the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic is thought to have made a solvent sale impossible to conclude.
Both retailers support approximately 2300 jobs.
The difficulty facing many retailers is stark. The High Street has already been under pressure and the creditworthiness of these companies has made them unlikely to be able to draw on the government help with respect to loans. Yes, they can benefit from the furlough arrangement and the business rates but with high rents and creaking balance sheets it is likely that many won’t be able to make it through this crisis.