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Andrea Felsted

Billionaires Get Bested in Fast Fashion's Survival of the Fittest

Internet fashion retailers Boohoo and Asos are set to rescue storied British brands Debenhams and Topshop. Where are the High Street kings?

Oh the memories.

Oh the memories.

Photographer: Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket

There’s another garage sale happening in U.K. retail. This time, it’s not the billionaires coming out on top, it’s the online upstarts they tried for years to resist.  

On Monday, online fashion store Boohoo Group Plc said it would buy the brand and website of 200-plus-year-old British department store Debenhams for 55 million pounds ($75 million). Meanwhile, Asos Plc, another digital clothing retailer, is in exclusive talks to acquire Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge — fashion brands owned by Arcadia, retail magnate Philip Green’s collapsed chain — for up to 300 million pounds. Only digital assets are on the table for both, which likely means more store closures and job losses on British high streets.