Another blow for Tunbridge Wells shopping centre as Topshop set to close

Another blow for Tunbridge Wells shopping centre as Topshop set to close
Topshop to close (Stock image)

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

But the Tunbridge Wells branch will close, as will 167 other outlets, as the £265million deal to buy the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from Arcadia’s administrators at Deloitte does not include stores.

It is the latest in a number of large units vacated from RVP in recent years, with the former BHS store still standing empty four years after the retailer closed its doors on the UK high street for good.

Asos told investors on Monday morning that it will take on around 300 employees as part of the deal, but the only store they may be able to keep open is the the Oxford Street building, which has a separate administrator. 

Arcadia collapsed into insolvency at the start of December after pandemic closures further exacerbated the group’s troubles.

Last week, Boohoo said it was in exclusive talks to buy the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands in a move which will also not include any stores.

Asos said its acquisition of the four brands will “resonate” with its core customer base of “20-somethings” in the UK.

It said it expects the deal to complete later this week, adding that it will also see £20 million worth of one-off restructuring and transaction costs.

Asos chief executive Nick Beighton told reporters on Monday that the company was “looking at” the possibility of retaining Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford Street, but admitted it was “not a priority”.

“It is something we are considering but we are not a stores business,” he said.

“Our priority is to double down on the brands, which we’ve seen perform incredibly well across our platform.”

Asos said the Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge websites will start re-directing customers to Asos from “Wednesday evening or Thursday morning”.

Mr Beighton said more clothing lines from the acquired brands will appear on its site from this period, with the first Asos-designed Topshop and Topman products expected to appear later in the year.

He added: “We are extremely proud to be the new owners of the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands.

“The acquisition of these iconic British brands is a hugely exciting moment for Asos and our customers and will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy.

“We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further, using our design, marketing, technology and logistics expertise, and working closely with key strategic retail partners in the UK and around the world.”


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