MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Boohoo Group Plc said on Tuesday it had made an offer to buy the online business of women's fashion retailers Karen Millen and its sister brand Coast from administrators seeking to sell off another pair of well-known British high street names.
The statement, confirming a Sky News report which said the deal would put hundreds of jobs in the two brands' stores at risk, made no mention of the more than 200 shops and concessions operated by Coast and Karen Millen.
The bid was the latest sign of the growing strength of Boohoo, whose online-only model has seen it register rapid growth at a time when a number of rivals are struggling to stay afloat.
"The Board confirms that it has made an offer to acquire the online business of renowned British brands Karen Millen and Coast, together with all associated intellectual property rights," Boohoo said.
"The Group believes that the online business of these brands would represent highly complementary additions to its scalable multi-brand platform."
Founded 14 years ago in Manchester, northern England, Boohoo has expanded rapidly by selling own-brand clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products, listing its shares in 2014 and buying the PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal brands in 2017.
That has drawn in a generation of younger consumers who shop on their mobile phones and share fashion tips through social media and contrasts sharply with Karen Millen and Coast, known for their higher-priced party wear and bridal outfits.
Karen Millen bought some parts of Coast's business after the latter went into administration last year, before putting itself up for sale a few weeks ago.
By Pushkala Aripaka; editor: Patrick Graham.