Cash-rich online retail giant Boohoo is considering acquiring struggling fashion brands amidst the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Boohoo, known for its history of purchasing distressed brands like Nasty Gal and Karen Millen/Coast, is now rumored to be eyeing the Oasis and Warehouse chains, both of which recently entered administration. With £241 million in cash, Boohoo is well-positioned to support struggling brands during this challenging time.

Neil Catto, Boohoo’s finance chief, has emphasized that the company’s main priority is the wellbeing of its teams and addressing the immediate crisis. However, Catto acknowledged that their strong financial position allows them to explore acquisition opportunities to assist other brands. He expressed optimism about the potential for “many opportunities” in the coming weeks and confirmed that Boohoo will be actively considering them.

Co-founder Carol Kane highlighted the increased demand for athleisure products during lockdown, with items like hoodies, joggers, and loungewear selling particularly well. Boohoo’s ability to adapt quickly and its short lead times enable the company to meet the needs of customers by adjusting its production. For instance, fabric that was initially intended for bodycon dresses can now be redirected towards loungewear coordinates.

As the fashion industry continues to face financial difficulties due to the ongoing crisis, Boohoo’s strong financial stability positions it as a potential savior. The company’s acquisition strategy, combined with its agility in pivoting its production focus, makes it a formidable competitor in the market. With its substantial cash reserves and willingness to support struggling brands, Boohoo has the opportunity to make a significant impact on the fashion industry’s recovery.

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