Topshop could make a surprise return to the high street if sale goes ahead

One of the UK’s most iconic fashion retailers could make a surprise high street comeback if it is acquired by new owners.

The owner of Ted Baker and Reebok is thought to be interested in buying the brand from current owner ASOS, which is said to be in formal talks to offload the brand to the Authentic Brands Group after it lost out in a bidding war to buy the chain in 2021.

ASOS paid £330million for Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands in February 2021 in a fiercely-fought auction run by the administrators to Arcadia Group, after Philip Green’s empire collapsed in November 2020. However the deal didn’t include the physical shops, which meant 2,500 retail staff faced redundancy. Now a potential disposal of the brand is one of the options being examined by ASOS boss, Jose Antonio Ramos Calamonte, to help shore up the company’s ailing results, according to Sky News.

City sources have said that a sale was not certain to proceed, but any potential takeover deal could mean that Topshop might make a surprise return to the high street just three years after all 300 stores closed overnight. Topshop and Topman had a number of stores in the North East, including large stores in Eldon Square, the Metrocentre and Durham.

Topshop was the jewel in the crown of Sir Philip’s empire for years, providing the platform for him to become feted as ‘the king of the high street’. However, the stores were hit by fierce competition from online retailers ASOS and Boohoo and suffered during the pandemic.

ASOS launched in 2000 and it sold clothes worn on TV by celebrities and famous faces, giving shoppers the chance to wear the same or similar clothes as their idols. However the online store was slammed by shoppers earlier this year when it increased the minimum spend at which ASOS premier customers qualify for free delivery from £10 to £15.

An ASOS spokesman told Sky News: “ASOS as a policy does not comment on rumour or speculation.”

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