Internet fashion giant Boohoo has lined up 200 cosmetics brands for a major relaunch of Debenhams online this autumn.
The push forms part of an ambitious strategy to re-establish Debenhams, which at its peak sold £550million of beauty, fashion and homewares a year.
Boohoo plans to match that figure ‘over time’ with intensive work to improve the Debenhams website’s technology.
Chief executive John Lyttle told The Mail on Sunday there have been frenzied talks with cosmetics firms since Boohoo beat billionaire Mike Ashley to buy the site in January.
Lyttle said: ‘Everything that was in Debenhams will be on the site pretty much by the end of summer. That’s about 200 beauty brands. We’ve had a very positive response from all the beauty brands, as we have had with the third-party fashion brands.’
The site began selling its first wave of L’Oreal cosmetics lines last week alongside Elizabeth Arden and Benefit.
Lyttle added: ‘It [acquiring the Debenhams website] also brings us into home products, kids and, over time, into sport as well – categories we’ve never been in before.’
The remaining Debenhams stores will close for good next weekend.
Before it collapsed, it had 19million active customers including 6million beauty shoppers and 1.4million Beauty Club members.
Lyttle said: ‘Debenhams failed because it wasn’t relevant to customers. The big thing now is to curate the brands which are relevant to the Debenhams we want to build.’