Asos ‘looking at’ keeping Topshop’s Oxford Street store after Arcadia deal

PA

The boss of Asos has said the online fashion giant could keep Topshop’s flagship Oxford Circus store open after buying brands from the collapse of the Arcadia retail empire.

Nick Beighton, chief executive officer at Asos, said the company is “looking at” the possibility of keeping hold of the store.

He admitted that the move is “not a priority” and that Asos is “not a store business”, but that it was weighing up the benefits of continuing to operate from the central London location in some capacity.

Asos said its £265 million deal to buy the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from Arcadia’s administrators at Deloitte would not include stores.

Topshop London
Topshop London

Following the collapse of Arcadia in December, KPMG was separately hired as administrators for the 214 Oxford Street building, which also houses Nike and Vans stores.

Administrators said that before the lockdown, which has closed all non-essential retail stores, the 100,000 square foot site welcomed 400,000 customers through its doors each week.

Mr Beighton said Asos would discuss the possibility of taking on the lease of the Topshop store in the building with a third-party partnership, but has no intention of buying it outright.

The store, which boasted a DJ booth, nail bar and food stalls, was a retail sensation after it opened in 1994.

Retail analyst Richard Hyman said he thought it would be a “smart move” for Asos to keep the Oxford Street store.

Kate Moss with Sir Philip Green and his daughter Chloe
Kate Moss with Sir Philip Green and his daughter Chloe

“I personally think they should definitely hold on to it,” he said.

“These have to be long-term decisions and at some point this year the shops will reopen and Oxford Street is the biggest shopping street in western Europe.

“I’d position the Topshop store among Selfridges and the two Primark stores as one of the main shops on Oxford Street. I’d put it above John Lewis, M&S and others.”

Last year, senior lender Apollo Global Management provided a £310 million four-year loan, secured against the site.

It is understood the Arcadia pension fund would benefit from anything generated from the sale beyond the £310 million loan.

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