Why would Boohoo want to buy Dorothy Perkins and Wallis
Walking into a Wallis store in 1963 would have been a real fashion treat. Laid out before you would have been high quality re creations of the latest designs from the biggest fashion houses in Paris at the time a Chanel esque jacket here, a Courrgges like dress there. The label was licensed to copy these avant garde patterns in deals which were far more genteel than the designer knock off culture we’re familiar with now, furnishing the women of Britain with catwalk worthy clothes at reasonable prices.
Clicking onto the Wallis website on Mondaymorning as news broke that the brand had been acquired by digital fast fashion juggernaut Boohoo, the picture couldn’t have been more different. Models on the homepage were wearing grey, grey and more grey in the form of lifeless jumpers and baggy tracksuit bottoms. We may be in the midst of a pandemic which has fuelled huge demand for loungewear, but it’s depressing that this is the best this former gem can currently do.
If you’re a retail romantic, then you might have been buoyed by Boohoo’s decision to snap up the last dregs of Sir Philip Green’s retail group Wallis and its Arcadia stablemates Dorothy Perkins and Burton in a deal worth 25.2 million. After all, it means that three names which have been synonymous with Britain’s world famous high street have been saved from extinction.
‘Acquiring these well known brands in British fashion out of administration ensures their heritage is sustained,’ Boohoo CEO John Lyttle said of the deal, ‘while our investment aims to transform them into brands that are fit for 1:1 replica handbags the current market environment. cheap louis vuitton bags from china We have a successful track record of integrating British heritage fashion brands onto our proven multi brand platform, and we are looking forward to bringing these brands on board.’
A look from Wallis’s current offering
All those mentions of heritage make Lyttle sound a little nostalgic himself, but as head of a business which is defying retail trends and growing at an astonishing pace (Boohoo’s profits in the first half of 2020 surged by 51 per cent to 68.1 million), replica designer handbags he can’t have been in the Arcadia deal simply for old time’s sake.
The picture at Dorothy Perkins and Burton isn’t much better than Wallis. All the high quality replica handbags china labels create clothing which looks, on the whole, drab, uninspiring and is not high quality. There’s no powerful sense of who the clothing is really aimed at. Looking at DP’s Instagram (a key platform for communicating with customers), it’s perhaps young dolabuy.su , style conscious professionals who are on the moodboard (‘Alexa: do my Zoom meeting,’ reads one recent caption), at Wallis it might be mums in need of no fuss essentials and Burton is the equivalent for men. None of it is expensive, but the budget conscious would find something similar for half the price at Primark. Really it’s hard to see what there is to salvage, even for the relatively small cash sum Boohoo is paying.
A look from Dorthy Perkins’ latest collection
The trio of brands have two million active customers combined, which replica louis vuitton handbags is a drop in the ocean compared to Boohoo’s 17.4 million, but may have been one of the more attractive reasons to acquire them. Far from simply being an ultra fast fashion chain aimed at Generation Z, Boohoo has rapidly become a retail empire. Not only did it buy the Debenhams brand name and website last month Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags , but it also now owns other former casualties including Coast, Oasis and Warehouse, scrapping their stores and keeping the brands in identikit deals. All the more reason why the acquisition of Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Burton is puzzling.
Last year, Lyttle told The Telegraph that he and Boohoo founder Mahmud Kamani were inspired by the model of Spain’s Inditex group for replica louis vuitton bags from china the future of Boohoo. The Zara owner’s multi generational portfolio has made Amancio Ortega, its head, one of the world’s wealthiest men.
‘At the young fashion end, they’ve got Bershka, Pull and Bear and Stradivarius,” he said 1:1 replica handbags , “while we’ve got Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, Nasty Gal and MissPap. We were missing the [higher end] ‘Massimo Dutti’, and we felt that’s what we could create with Karen Millen and Coast. Karen Millen in particular had huge fashion credentials which it had lost in the last couple of years, but we think we can bring it back again at that higher quality and price point. Once we had that, we missed that middle [mid range] piece, like a Zara option. Oasis and Warehouse had the right fashion history we think we could rebuild those too.’
A look from Burton’s latest collection
It sounded like fake louis bag they had every age bracket sewn up. None of the acquired brands yet have anything like the kudos of Boohoo or Zara though. Warehouse and Karen Millen are looking a little slicker but there isn’t the aspirational excitement needed to really make a label fly.
Perhaps for all the talk of heritage and distinction, it’s the simple maths which makes sense here. By stripping out costly stores and selling online only, Boohoo may be able to claw back some profit with little effort the parts of the business it has aaa replica designer handbags bought had revenues of 178.8 million in the last financial year while benefiting from the customer data and website traffic.
If they really do want Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags to invest, then there are possibilities. Wallis has that high fashion history to fall back on and could be a sophisticated line for quality, grown up fashion to compete with Jaeger, which is set for a revival under its new M ownership. Dorothy Perkins needs a makeover ideas from The Telegraph fashion desk include rebranding it as Dorothy and making it an homage to the vintage, cottagecore look which chimes with many women in their 20s, 30s and 40s at the high quality designer replica handbags moment (DP did once own a 70 per cent stake in Biba so there’s a neat historical tie to the aesthetic) or reverting to its Dotty P nickname and turning it into a sleek athleisure meet sportswear specialist. For Burton, there’s potential to rival the no nonsense, utilitarian look of Uniqlo which has become a solution for many millennial men.
These are radical thoughts for brands which look so limp right now, but maybe it’s time for affordable labels to start thinking like the big luxury houses, that wipe the slate clean each time a new creative director is appointed and go big on a new, exciting aesthetic. Ortega might be Europe’s second richest retailer, but ahead of him is Bernard Arnault of LVMH, which includes Dior and Louis Vuitton, both houses which have found success with this strategy. It could be one way to bring dignity back to these heritage names fake designer bags.