Asos buys Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge - what it means for gift cards and returns
Online fashion retailer Asos has snapped up Arcadia's Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, and HIIT brands and stock for £330 million - but its high street stores aren't included in the deal and will close for good. Here's what it means for shoppers, including your gift card and return rights.
The news comes after Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group, which operated 444 stores across the UK under its Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topman, Topshop and Wallis brands, announced it had collapsed into administration in December 2020 due to the pandemic "severely impacting" sales.
Stores had continued to trade in the meantime, despite Deloitte being appointed as administrator for the retail empire, though they later temporarily closed when stricter coronavirus lockdown measures were imposed across the UK.
In a similar move, online retailer Boohoo purchased Debenhams' brand and website just last week after the department store chain also fell into administration. The sale means all 118 of Debenhams' UK stores will close for good. For general info on what you can do to try to reclaim cash from a firm in administration if things go wrong, see our Administration Help guide.
You'll still be able to buy online - but it'll be from Asos' website
Asos will officially take over Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT - which is a sportswear label - on 4 February. From this date, you'll no longer be able to shop on the brands' existing websites and you'll instead be redirected to Asos' site where it will have sections selling items from these brands.
Until then, it appears you can continue to purchase online as normal but we've asked Deloitte and we'll update this story when we know more. It's important to bear in mind that when a firm is in administration things can change quickly and there's more of a risk of things not turning up, so if you do decide to make an online purchase, for extra peace of mind use a debit card, or a credit card if the item costs over £100.
That will give you some additional protection if things were to go wrong, as you could try to claim your money back from your card provider under chargeback or Section 75 rules. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if you pay for something costing between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card, the card firm's equally liable if something goes wrong, so you may be able to claim your money back from it.
Under chargeback – which isn't a legal requirement, just a customer service promise – your bank will try to get money back from the bank of the firm you bought from. (Be aware that even if you're paid the money, the firm can sometimes dispute it with the bank and the money may later be clawed back.) See our Chargeback and Section 75 guides for full info.
Topshop and Miss Selfridge's high street stores will close putting jobs at risk
Topshop, Topman, and Miss Selfridge's 70 physical stores are not part of the Asos deal (HIIT doesn't have any standalone shops). These stores will now close for good putting 2,500 jobs at risk of redundancy. If you're an affected staff member worried about your job, see our Redundancy Help guide to tool up on your rights.
Asos is, however, taking on 300 staff from the brands' existing design, buying and retail partnerships teams.
Gift cards will no longer be accepted from 4 February
Asos says gift cards purchased before it takes over on 4 February remain the responsibility of Deloitte, so it won't accept them. Deloitte has confirmed that existing gift cards can continued to be used online until 4 February to fund 50% of a purchase.
When Arcadia first went into administration, its brands continued to accept gift cards as normal at first. But it then changed its policy so they could only be redeemed against 50% of what you spent (so if you had a £10 gift card, you could still get the full face value but only if your total purchase was £20+). For more info, see Topshop, Burton gift card latest.
We've long said we're not fans of gift cards because you've no guaranteed protection if the company it's for goes into administration. Administrators can decide to stop accepting gift cards in this situation, meaning they could become worthless. It may be worth bearing this in mind when considering whether to buy gift cards in the future as well. For general info on what you can do to try to reclaim cash from a firm in administration if things were to go wrong, see our Administration Help guide.
Return rights will depend on when items were purchased
Asos says it's not responsible for orders placed before 4 February, so it won't accept returns purchased before this date. It will, however, process returns under its usual policy for orders placed from 4 February onwards.
Deloitte says it will continue to process returns for for items purchased online before 4 February. It is, however, still deciding whether to accept returns purchased in store.
In the past, we've sometimes seen problems with returns and refunds being processed when stores go into administration.
You won't be able to use Arcadia store cards at Asos
A store card is essentially a credit card you can only use with one high street chain or group, and these were offered by several Arcadia brands, including Topshop - although they are administered by a separate company called New Day.
When Arcadia went into administration it told us the cards were expected to continue working but that this might change if the business was sold. Asos tells us it won't accept Arcadia stores cards when it takes over and Deloitte has confirmed these cards will be switched off on 4 February. If you owe money on your store card, you'll be required to pay off your balance as normal.
Customers experiencing problems making repayments on their store cards, should contact New Day directly. Contact details can be found on the New Day website.
A buyer is still being sought for Burton, Dorothy Perkins, and Wallis
Burton, Dorothy Perkins, and Wallis are not part of the sale to Asos - Deloitte is still searching for a buyer for these brands. Evans (the brand, not the stores) was purchased in December 2020 by Australian fashion retailer City Chic Collective.
Outfit, meanwhile, was not up for sale as part of the administration as it never produced its own range of clothing - it instead sold items from different Arcadia brands. Most of these stores have now closed for good.