Controversial fashion giant Boohoo pledges to create 5,000 more jobs in the UK

The fast-fashion retailer, which recently acquired Debenhams and several Sir Philip Green brands, has revealed plans to create 5,000 new jobs over the next five years

Boohoo has said it plans to invest £50million in the UK over the next five years, creating 5,000 jobs.

The company, which has seen its sales rocket throughout the pandemic, said the investment reflected the need to meet growing demand.

The Manchester-based fashion giant, which sells clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products aimed at 16 to 40-year olds, has expanded rapidly since launching in 2006 and now trades from 13 brands.

The group said that to meet growing demand it planned to secure additional warehouse space and invest in technology to help its operations become more efficient.

The group’s rapid growth has not been without criticism.

Last September Boohoo accepted all the recommendations of an independent review that found major failings in its supply chain in England after newspaper allegations about unacceptable working conditions and low pay in factories in Leicester.

The report found workers at one of its supplier factories in Leicester were working for just £3.50 an hour – a fraction of the minimum wage.

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The group has pledged to fix the problems with its ‘Agenda for Change’ programme.

Its workplace practices also came under criticism in the US in February, with the fashion giant threatened with a potential ban over the allegations of slave labour.

Boohoo founders Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane


Getty Images for bohooo)

Boohoo, which targets fashion for young twenty-somethings, was founded in 2006.

As well as Boohoo itself, it owns Coast, Oasis, Warehouse, Miss Pap and several more well known brands.

The chain also rescued ailing department store chain Debenhams in January – taking the company online-only.

In total, the Boohoo Group has more 17million active customers worldwide and over the pandmic, it claimed to make £55 worth of sales a second.

Mahmud Kamani, the co-founder of the empire, has been behind its explosive growth in the past few years and is considered to be one of the few tycoons to have dodged the retail doom and gloom.

Kamani, who is worth £727million, started his career by selling cheap clothes to market stallholders and high-street brands in the UK, including H&M and Primark.

Boohoo heir Umar Kamani pictured with Little Mix


He went on to set up Boohoo with cofounder and designer Carol Kane in 2006, with the idea of cutting out the middle man and selling directly to customers online.

From the start, the company’s business model has been based around being ultra-fast and ultra-cheap.

Kamani’s three sons Adam, Umar, and Samir all have executive roles within the Boohoo empire.

The eldest sibling, Adam, worked for the Boohoo brand before cofounding fashion brand PrettyLittleThing in 2012 with his younger brother, Umar.

Adam runs Kamani Property Group, which specializes in commercial and residential real estate alongside KM Capital, a Manchester-based seed fund, that’s run as a private limited company. Adam stayed on a director of PrettyLittleThing up until 2017.

Up until 2017, Adam’s brothers Umar and Samir were both directors at the company.

The middle son, Umar, continues to run the PrettyLittleThing brand. Boohoo took a 66{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} stake in the brand in 2017 and bought the remaining stake in May for £269.8million.

Analysts describe PrettyLittleThing as “the jewel in Boohoo’s crown.”

The three Kamani brothers as kids


MEN Media)

Speaking on its most recent acquisition of Debenhams, Boohoo said it plans to rebuild and relaunch the company, as it moves to become the top online fashion brand in the UK and expand into beauty, sport and homeware.

Executive chairman Mahmud Kamani said: “This is a transformational deal for the Group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as eCommerce continues to grow.

“Our ambition is to create the UK’s largest marketplace. Our acquisition of the Debenhams brand is strategically significant as it represents a huge step which accelerates our ambition to be a leader, not just in fashion eCommerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.”

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