Retail expert Dr Gordon Fletcher of the University of Salford Business School comments as Boohoo buys the Debenhams brand but not the physical stores and ASOS looks at Top Shop and Miss Selfridge.
Dr Fletcher said: “As the online fashion retailers begin to buy up the pieces of Debenhams and circle the failed Arcadia group's iconic brands a very clear message is being broadcast. Brands are still important. Brands have credibility and reputation.
“Consumers have strong emotional connections with brands. However, the importance of the bricks and mortar traditionally associated with retail brands has now fully waned. This is not a new realisation that has only been discovered during the pandemic. However, the current lockdown situation has forced us to cut the final ties between our favourite brands and the physical high street.
“Bricks and mortar are important but after the lockdown the brands that we will see will be very different. These will be the brands that bring peak experience and engagement - maximising the value of face-to-face contact - and they will not be fashion retailers.”