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July 14, 2021

Boohoo and Alshaya partner to grow Debenhams in Middle East

Boohoo and Middle Eastern mall operator Alshaya are to partner on a deal that will see Debenhams expand across the region.

By Hannah Abdulla

In January, Boohoo struck a GBP55m deal to acquire the Debenhams brand, a move aimed at furthering its ambition to create the UK’s largest marketplace and grow into new categories including beauty, sport, and homeware. Alshaya, which currently runs Debenhams stores in leading shopping malls, will have exclusive rights to operate the Debenhams stores and a local eCommerce platform in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Qatar.

Boohoo says the move marks a further step as the Group accelerates progress integrating and scaling the Debenhams brand.

The Group continues to work with new strategic wholesale partners in key regions to extend reach and build brand awareness, and this Boohoo Alshaya partner deal will see Debenhams stores house Boohoo brands from Q4 2021 and also on a new local online platform across the Middle East from early 2022.

John Lyttle, Boohoo CEO, commented: 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 awareness while expanding the product ranges and brands available to customers. 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 to continue to scale the Group.”

John Hadden, CEO Alshaya Group, added: “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. Today we are delighted to step-change that innovation through our new partnership with Boohoo group, one of the UK’s leading digital retailers. In a new chapter for Debenhams, we look forward to enhancing customer choice by bringing exciting new fashion brands to the region and by expanding the Debenhams brand online. Alshaya already has the region’s largest digital footprint but I know the team are looking forward to learning from such acknowledged global eCommerce experts.”

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