Selfridges acquired by Central Group and Signa Holding
Selfridges has been acquired from the Weston family by Central, a family-owned Thai retail group, and the Austrian Signa real estate company.
The joint venture will see Selfridges Group become part of the combined Central and Signa portfolio of luxury department stores, which include the likes of Rinascente in Italy, Illum in Denmark, Globus in Switzerland and The KaDeWe Group, in Germany and Austria. The annual turnover for the combined portfolio reached €5 billion in 2019 and is expected to increase to more than €7 billion by 2024.
Alannah Weston, chairman of Selfridges Group, said: “The acquisition of Selfridges Group by Central and Signa is 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 Selfridges Group portfolio comprises 18 stores, including Selfridges in London, Manchester and Birmingham, de Bijenkorf in Netherlands, Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland, their associated ecommerce platforms and the properties in London, Manchester and five locations in Ireland.
Central and Signa said the purchase will create a complementary portfolio of leading European luxury department stores, which will enable innovation know-how and knowledge to be shared across different locations.
Tos Chirathivat, executive chairman and chief executive of Central, said: “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.”
Dieter Berninghaus, chairman of the executive board of Signa, added: “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.”
Central and Signa will operate all the stores in Selfridges Group including Selfridges, de Bijenkorf, Brown Thomas and Arnotts, which will continue to be run by the existing leadership teams. Meanwhile, the Canadian business Holt Renfrew will remain with the Weston family.
Anne Pitcher, global managing director of Selfridges Group, said: “We are joining an impressive group of leading luxury department stores across Europe presenting a fantastic opportunity for the business and reinforcing our leading status and position in global retail.”
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