19 Jan 2022

New owner for landmark Limerick store as multi-billion euro deal is confirmed

BREAKING: Brown Thomas set to re-open its Limerick store

The company that owns Brown Thomas has been sold in a multi-billion deal

THE company that owns the landmark Brown Thomas store in Limerick has been acquired as part of a multi-billion deal, it has been confirmed.

The Weston family has sold the luxury retail group Selfridges to retailer Signa Holding and property company Central Group.

A statement released by Central Group, this Christmas Eve, said the acquisition would “create one of the world’s leading omni-channel luxury department store groups”.

The sale was made for £4 billion, the BBC reported.

The Selfridges portfolio includes 18 department stores across England, the Netherlands and Ireland.

They will become part of the combined Central and Signa portfolio of department stores which includes Rinascente in Italy, Illum in Denmark, Globus in Switzerland and The KaDeWe Group in Germany and Austria.

Built in 1874, the Brown Thomas store at O'Connell Street in Limerick City Centre, is best known by many as the site of the former Todds store which was rebranded to Brown Thomas 20 years ago. 

Selfridges was founded in 1908 by Harry Gordon Selfridge. W Galen Weston bought the flagship Oxford Street Selfridge store in London in 2003 and formed the Selfridges Group in 2010.

Selfridges Group chairman, and W Galen Weston’s surviving daughter, Alannah Weston said the acquisition was “testament to the successful realisation of my father’s vision for an iconic group of beautiful, truly experiential, department stores”.

“Creative thinking has been at the heart of everything we did together for nearly twenty years and sustainability is deeply embedded in the business. I am proud to pass the baton to the new owners who are family businesses that take a long-term view.

“I know they will fully embrace that vision and continue to empower our incredible team to take the Group from strength to strength.

The Central Group opened Thailand’s first department store in 1956 and now has roughly 3,700 stores around the world.

Chief executive Tos Chirathivat said it was a “privilege” to make the deal.

“As family businesses, Central and Signa will focus on delivering exceptional and inclusive store and digital experiences for both local residents and overseas visitors alike, to ensure we can give all the stores in Selfridges Group a bright future for the next 100 years.”

Signa Holding was founded in 2000 and is Austria’s largest privately owned real estate company.

Signa’s executive board chairman Dieter Berninghaus said: “Together we will work with the world’s leading architects to sensitively reimagine the stores in each location, transforming these iconic destinations into sustainable, energy-efficient, modern spaces, whilst staying true to their architectural and cultural heritage.

“We plan to fulfil the vision of the late Galen Weston to deliver his masterplan and create a high-quality experience retailing environment for our customers and brand partners.”

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