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Boohoo joins Frasers Group’s growing North West online shopping list

Mahmud Kamani

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has bought a £22m stake, around five per cent, in Boohoo as the high street retail group continues to buy into ecommerce – particularly in the North West.

In the last year or so alone Frasers has acquired Lancashire’s Studio Retail Group; former JD Sports brands Tessuti, Scotts, Choice, Giulio and Cricket; Manchester’s I Saw It First and Missguided and also taken or increased its stakes in North West ecommerce companies including N Brown Group and AO.

The group also owns high street names Sports Direct, House of Fraser and designer fashion retailer Flannels, and this week announced it had built a nine per cent stake in the electrical goods retailer Currys.

The move makes Frasers Group one of the largest individual shareholders in Boohoo, although co-founder Mahmud Kamani remains the largest shareholder.

Frasers Group said in a statement: “Driving growth through strategic investments is a core part of Frasers’ DNA…We have a clear strategy to identify opportunities to invest in businesses which complement our existing sport, premium and luxury businesses, or help us to build and further utilise our sector-leading ecosystem.

“Boohoo is an attractive proposition to us with its laser focus on young female consumers. We see potential synergies and an opportunity to strengthen our own brand proposition in collaboration with Boohoo, most obviously with Frasers Group brands I Saw It First and Missguided.

“Our investment in Currys provides us with a valuable opportunity to build on our foothold in the electricals industry as well as deepening the existing relationship between Currys and Studio, with the potential for further collaboration between the two.”

The Frasers purchase comes a day after Boohoo announced plans to consolidate its power on the board at Essex make up retailer Revolution Beauty, where Boohoo became the majority shareholder late last year.

Last month Boohoo posted a pre-tax loss of £90.7m for the 12 months to February 28, 2023, compared to a profit of £7.8m in the previous year and £92.2m in the year before that.

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