Another sad day for real estate on the high street with the news yesterday that Boohoo acquired only the online business of Coast and Karen Millen for £18.2m.
Boohoo, which is an online-only retailer, has expanded rapidly in the last few years. The company clearly saw profit in the website operations of these two brands, but not in the bricks and mortar shops and concessions. The 32 shops and 177 concessions seem set to close.
When an online fashion retailer is growing and continuing to be acquisitive when traditional retailers are floundering, it is just further evidence (as if anyone needed it) that consumer's shopping habits have changed.
Online only retail does come with its own challenges though, as ASOS is finding at the moment. It will be interesting to track Boohoo's progress and see if, like ASOS, it reaches a point where it perhaps gets too big and too popular and starts to experience issues with keeping up with increasing demand. Also, with the increasing concern about the unsustainability of "fast fashion", online retailers, who have capitalised on this side of the business, will have to adapt.
As someone who likes to shop for clothes the old fashioned way, it is a shame that consumers now have fewer and fewer brands to choose from on the high street and in department stores. What is it going to take to stem the continuing demise of traditional shopping?
The firms' 32 UK High Street stores and 177 concessions, employing 1,100 people, now appear set to close.