// Boohoo announces partnership with Alshaya to run Debenhams in the Middle East
// Debenhams still has stores in Middle East shopping malls, as they were not part of the liquidation process
// Alshaya have exclusive rights to operate the stores & local ecommerce platform in the region
Boohoo has announced a new partnership with Middle Eastern industry giant Alshaya as it seeks to build on the presence of Debenhams across the region.
In a statement this morning, Boohoo said the partnership marks a further step as it “accelerates progress integrating and scaling” the Debenhams brand.
Kuwait-based Alshaya, which currently runs Debenhams stores in leading shopping malls in the region, will now have exclusive rights to operate the Debenhams stores and a local ecommerce platform in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Qatar.
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The Debenhams stores across the Middle East were not affected by the department store’s administration and subsequent liquidation process in the UK last year.
The Debenhams brand, ecommerce operations and assets were purchased by Boohoo Group in a £55 million deal in January.
This deal did not include Debenham’s physical store estate in the UK, and Debenhams the last of its 118 stores in mid-May, marking the final nail in the coffin in its 243 years of trading as a bricks-and-mortar retailer.
In the wake of the Alshaya partnership, Boohoo said it would continue to work with new strategic wholesale partners in “key regions” to extend reach and build brand awareness.
It added that the new partnership will see Boohoo Group brands being sold in Debenhams stores from the fourth quarter this year, and also on a new local online platform across the Middle East from early 2022.
“I am delighted to be working with Alshaya to operate Debenhams in the Middle East,” Boohoo Group chief executive John Lyttle said.
“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.”
Alshaya Group chief executive John Hadden said: “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.”