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Boohoo: Cost differences between clothes are ‘mistakes’ due to ‘mix up with suppliers’

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boohoo cost differences between clothes are mistakes due to mix up with suppliers

Identical items of clothing that on sale for different prices across Boohoo’s brands is down to a ‘genuine mistake’ and not ‘business practice’, the fast fashion giant has said.  

The multi-billion pound brand, which owns Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, Oasis, and Karen Millen among others, faced questions this week after an identical mushroom coat was found on sale at £89 in upmarket retailer Coast but just £65 at Dorothy Perkins.  

Later, FEMAIL revealed the coat isn’t the only item with a price disparity across the Boohoo brands, with the group selling a black coat in Warehouse for £18, while it was on sale at Oasis at £27. 

In a third discovery a woman from Winchester revealed she felt ‘lied to’ after discovering the £42 Karen Millen skirt she had bought was available on the Oasis website for £30.  

Speaking today, a spokesperson for the brand told the BBC the issue effected ‘about 10 lines out of thousands’ and it was due to an error in their brands buying up stock from suppliers who usually sell clothes to retailers who had closed during the pandemic.

Pictured: The black padded coat cost £27 at Oasis

Pictured: The black padded coat cost £27 at Oasis

Pictured: The black padded coat cost £27 at Oasis

Pictured: The black padded coat cost £27 at Oasis

The Boohoo group revealed they were launching a probe after an investigation revealed their brands were selling identical items for vastly different prices. And it appears the coat isn’t the only item with a price disparity across the Boohoo brands, with the group selling a black coat in Warehouse for £18, while it was 150 per cent more expensive in Oasis at £27.

Pictured: The black padded coat cost £18 at Warehouse

Pictured: The black padded coat cost £18 at Warehouse

Pictured: The black padded coat cost £18 at Warehouse

Pictured: The black padded coat cost £18 at Warehouse

At Warehouse, an identical coat was only £18, 150 per cent less than in Oasis

Boohoo has now said said it had not realised its their companies had bought the same items and branded and priced them differently.   

A spokesperson told BBC that the different pricing of identical coats were part of an issue that arose due to the coronavirus pandemic and non-essential shops closed their doors. 

What brands do Boohoo own? 

Burton

Debenhams

Dorothy Perkins

Warehouse 

Oasis

Karen Millen

Coast

Wallis

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The high-street took a huge blow and Boohoo – an online giant – bought up brands that went into administration, including Dorothy Perkins, Coast, Karen Millen, Wallis and Burton.

As a result, liquidated chains had to cancel their orders with suppliers, who in turn then offered products to retailers that were still trading, meaning Boohoo’s brands brought up their stock.  

‘Our mistake was not realising that some of our brands had purchased the same items from suppliers,’ the statement to the BBC saiud. 

‘Therefore we failed to make sure prices were the same across our group of brands.’ 

It comes as the fast fashion group launched a probe after a BBC investigation found a mushroom luxe coat was priced at £89 at Oasis, but was selling for £65 at Dorothy Perkins and £30 at Warehouse. 

The BBC investigation found a 'luxe' padded coat was originally sold for £89 at Oasis but was retailing for £65 at Dorothy Perkins

The BBC investigation found a 'luxe' padded coat was originally sold for £89 at Oasis but was retailing for £65 at Dorothy Perkins

The BBC investigation found a ‘luxe’ padded coat was originally sold for £89 at Oasis but was retailing for £65 at Dorothy Perkins

The same coat in a khaki colour, instead of mushroom, was in the sale for £30 in Warehouse and £66.75 in Coast

The same coat in a khaki colour, instead of mushroom, was in the sale for £30 in Warehouse and £66.75 in Coast

The same coat in a khaki colour, instead of mushroom, was in the sale for £30 in Warehouse and £66.75 in Coast

Another identical coat cost £34 more in Coast than it was listed on the Dorothy Perkins website. 

In pictures that have raised questions for the retailer, it appears the Dorothy Perkins branding was also cut off from the label of the product sold to Coast customers.

The retailer said they’re investigating the differences across the Boohoo-owned brands and say that the error was ‘not intentional’.

Boohoo told the BBC the ‘miscommunication was not intentional’ adding: ‘All Boohoo group brands work independently, and so this miscommunication was not intentional as teams are not privy to what’s being bought and sold across the other group brands.’  

Pictured: the leopard print skirt as marketed on the Karen Millen website, where it sold for £42

Pictured: the leopard print skirt as marketed on the Karen Millen website, where it sold for £42

The same skirt on the Oasis website where it sold for £30, £12 less

The same skirt on the Oasis website where it sold for £30, £12 less

Joanna Sikora, 39, from Winchester, revealed how the dress she bought from Karen Millen for £42, left, was actually from Oasis, right where it sold at £30

‘Our internal investigation continues and we will be re-pricing all the crossover stock to be aligned.’ 

Fashion giant Boohoo owns several different brands after buying up businesses when their owners fell into administration.

In February they announced a £25.2million deal to buy Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton after Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia empire collapsed amid the pandemic.

The coat is listed on Debenham's website as an item from Dorothy Perkins, where it cost £18, reduced from £65

The coat is listed on Debenham's website as an item from Dorothy Perkins, where it cost £18, reduced from £65

The coat is listed on Debenham's website as an item from Dorothy Perkins, where it cost £18, reduced from £65

The coat is listed on Debenham's website as an item from Dorothy Perkins, where it cost £18, reduced from £65

The coat is listed on Debenham’s website as an item from Dorothy Perkins, where it cost £18, reduced from £65

But on the Dorothy Perkins website itself, the coat is £20, despite being identical to the one sold for £18 and £27 in other Boohoo-owned brands

But on the Dorothy Perkins website itself, the coat is £20, despite being identical to the one sold for £18 and £27 in other Boohoo-owned brands

But on the Dorothy Perkins website itself, the coat is £20, despite being identical to the one sold for £18 and £27 in other Boohoo-owned brands

But on the Dorothy Perkins website itself, the coat is £20, despite being identical to the one sold for £18 and £27 in other Boohoo-owned brands

But on the Dorothy Perkins website itself, the coat is £20, despite being identical to the one sold for £18 and £27 in other Boohoo-owned brands 

The online retailer said they would be buying the brands and stock but would shut all 214 physical stores, concessions or franchises with 2,450 job losses.

Fast fashion giant Boohoo, which is owned by billionaire Mahmud Kamani, also owns Karen Millen, Coast and the Warehouse and Oasis brands.

The retailer is no stranger to controversy.

Investigations over the past five years revealed concerns over low pay and poor working conditions at their Leicester clothes factories.

The working conditions at the factories were further highligted when there was an outbreak of Covid amongst the workers at the start of the pandemic. 

A damning report released last year also indicated directors were aware of questions over its supply chain much earlier after reporters and politicians raised the issue. 

Boohoo was founded by British businessman Mahmud Kamani, 55, who before launching the company started his business selling handbags at a traders’ stall in Manchester. 

He spotted the potential of internet sales and set up his online retailer in 2006 with the aim of delivering their own-branded fashion at rock bottom prices.

It since became synonymous with the wildly popular, yet equally controversial, fast-fashion phenomenon. 

Its sales topped £850 million in 2019, propelling Mr Kamani to 131st place on The Sunday Times Rich List, with a family fortune of £1.16 billion.  

Indian-born billionaire who launched fast fashion firm Boohoo from Manchester market stall and expanded online with his playboy children

Boohoo founder Mahmud Kamani, pictured right, alongside his son Umar, didn't want to spoil his children, but helped them set up Pretty Little Thing

Boohoo founder Mahmud Kamani, pictured right, alongside his son Umar, didn't want to spoil his children, but helped them set up Pretty Little Thing

Boohoo founder Mahmud Kamani, pictured right, alongside his son Umar, didn’t want to spoil his children, but helped them set up Pretty Little Thing

The Indian-born founder of fast-fashion company Boohoo grew his Manchester market stall into a £2.6billion business.

Before Boohoo shot onto the ever-growing fast fashion scene, its owner Mahmud Kamani, 55, sold handbags in traders’ stall.  

He spotted the potential of internet sales and set up his online retailer in 2006 with the aim of delivering their own-branded fashion at rock bottom prices.

It since became synonymous with the wildly popular, yet equally controversial, fast-fashion phenomenon. 

Its sales topped £850 million in 2019, propelling Mr Kamani to 131st place on The Sunday Times Rich List, with a family fortune of £1.16 billion.

Mr Kamani’s parents, who were originally from India, arrived in Manchester from Kenya in 1969 when his father was just two years old.

The Kamanis were forced to flee to Britain by increasing unrest and draconian employment laws that favoured native Kenyans.

Entrepreneurial Mahmud sold handbags on a market stall. He invested his money wisely in property and began a wholesale business, Pinstripe, sourcing garments from India.

By the early 2000s, the company was selling £50 million-worth a year to high street brands such as Topshop and Primark, which led to Mahmud setting up the Boohoo brand in 2006. 

The company’s growth quickly skyrocketed and is now believed to be worth £2billion or more and employing 2,352 people.  

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