Ashley to sell Missguided on retail merry-go-round

Manchester-headquartered fast fashion brand Missguided is on the brink of a sale to Chinese retail group Shein. 

Mike Ashley’s retail giant Frasers bought Missguided out of administration last year for £20m after the rising costs, supply chain issues, and the impact of the cost of living crisis on demand created unsustainable cashflow problems.

The deal, if successful, would represent Shein’s first acquisition of a UK brand.

Sky News also reported that the head office would be retained by Fraser’s, but Shein would acquire Missguided’s brand and intellectual property.

Singapore-based Shein, originally founded in Nanjing, China, in October 2008 as ZZKKO by entrepreneur Chris Xu is valued at US$66 billion.

Frasers, controlled by Mike Ashley, has been taking stakes in Boohoo and AO World in recent weeks, which have left analysts and Ashley-watchers guessing as to his long term strategic intentions. 

On buying Missguided, Fraser’s said it hoped it’s “digital-first approach to the latest trends in women’s fashion will bring additional expertise to the wider Frasers Group.”

Missguided was founded in Manchester in 2009 by Nitin Passi as a competitor to Asos and Boohoo. It moved into offices in MediaCity in 2015 and invited Channel 4 TV cameras in for a documentary Inside Missguided described by one reviewer as “filmed in the fast fashion brand’s candyfloss-hued headquarters, a place where flamingo ornaments are omnipresent and meeting rooms are named after emojis.”