Asos to buy Topshop and Miss Selfridge brands

Topshop and Topman in the Sailmakers Shopping Centre in Ipswich. Picture: GEMMA JARVIS

Topshop and Topman in the Sailmakers Shopping Centre in Ipswich. Picture: GEMMA JARVIS - Credit: Archant

Clothing brands including Topshop could disappear from the high street as an online fashion giant enters exclusive talks to buy part of Sir Philip Green's collapsed Arcadia retail empire.

Arcadia - which also owns brands including Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT - entered administration on November 30 a day before new laws came into force which would have seen the taxman become a preferred creditor entitling it to repayment ahead of unsecured creditors.

Now Asos says it is involved in ongoing discussions about buying some of its brands - but it doesn't have a high street presence, which means any deal would be unlikely to including saving Arcadia's stores.

Instead, these stores - which include outlets in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Colchester - could close for good, with the brands moving online.

Arcadia in exclusive talks with online retailer Asos

In a  statement to the London Stock Exchange it said: "The board believes this would represent a compelling opportunity to acquire strong brands that resonate well with its customer base.

"However, at this stage, there can be no certainty of a transaction and Asos will keep shareholders updated as appropriate. Any acquisition would be funded from cash reserves."

Arcadia employed around 13,000 people when it collapsed at the start of December and has 444 UK stores.

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The impact of the coronavirus pandemic, years of under-investment and a failure to keep up with shifts to online shopping were blamed.

Other retailers including Boohoo, Mike Ashley's Frasers Group, and JD Sports in partnership with US retail giant Authentic Brands, were also said to have been considering acquiring some or all of Arcadia's stores.

Last month, Arcadia's administrators agreed the sale of the retailer's plus-sized brand Evans to Australian firm City Chic Collective for £23m.