UK online fashion retailer Boohoo has formed a partnership with Kuwait-based Alshaya Group to build its Debenhams brand in the Middle East region, it said today.

Boohoo, which sells clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products aimed at 16 to 40-year olds, purchased the Debenhams brand out of administration for £55m in January.

It said Alshaya, a franchise operator which runs Debenhams stores in shopping centres, will have exclusive rights to operate the stores and a local e-commerce platform in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Qatar.

Boohoo said it will seek to work with strategic wholesale partners in key regions to extend its reach.

The Alshaya partnership will see Boohoo brands in Debenhams stores from the fourth quarter of 2021 and on a new local online platform across the Middle East from early 2022.

"The Debenhams brand has been popular in the region for a number of years so this is a great opportunity to build on the existing brand awareness, while expanding the product ranges and brands available to customers," Boohoo's chief executive John Lyttle said.

"It also offers a new route to market for brands within the boohoo group, raising their profile in a growing new market," he added.

Last month Boohoo showed it had weathered negative publicity over its supply chain failings, reporting a 32% rise in first quarter sales, benefiting from rising demand as lockdown restrictions eased.