Department store business Selfridges has acquired Irish rival Arnotts from owner Fitzwilliam Finance Partners for an undisclosed sum.
The deal means that Selfridges Group, owned by Galen Weston and his Irish wife Hilary Weston, now owns both leading department stores in Ireland alongside the Brown Thomas group of stores in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway.
Selfridges Group, which already owns Holt Renfrew in Canada, Selfridges & Co in the UK and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands, said it was “very excited” about building the Arnotts brand and pledged to “grow and expand” the business.
The department store, which was founded in 1843 and is situated on Henry Street in Dublin, sells womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, homewares, beauty, jewellery and accessories across 267,000 sq ft of retail and food and beverage space.
“Our priority will be to build on the legacy of this great Irish brand and we will look to enhance the customer experience while cherishing Arnotts’ unique heritage”
Paul Kelly, Selfridges
Selfridges plans to “enhance the shopping experience” by investing in improving the store environment and introducing new premium brands.
Changes at the top
Following the takeover, Ray Hernan will step down as chief executive of Arnotts Group. Hernan will be replaced at the helm by Donald McDonald, who takes on the role of Arnotts managing director.
Selfridges Group managing director Paul Kelly has also been appointed as chairman of ARHL Retail Holdings Limited, the parent company of Arnotts.
Kelly said: “Selfridges Group is delighted to be taking over the management of Arnotts department store. We have an excellent track record leading retailing in Ireland. Arnotts will benefit from our global retail experience and continual investment.
“Our priority will be to build on the legacy of this great Irish brand and we will look to enhance the customer experience while cherishing Arnotts’ unique heritage, which has been an essential part of Dublin’s retail landscape for over 170 years.”
Commenting on McDonald’s appointment, Kelly added: “I want to welcome Donald to the Selfridges Group team and we look forward to working closely with him as we roll out our exciting plans for the business.
“I also want to take the opportunity to thank Ray Hernan for his valuable contribution to Arnotts Group over many years. Ray has provided strong leadership and direction to Arnotts Group throughout a period of major change and challenge for the business and we wish him well with his future plans.”
Hernan said: “Now that the future of Arnotts retail business has been firmly secured under the new ownership of one of the world’s leading retail groups, the time is right for me to pursue new opportunities.
“I want to thank the staff and management of Arnotts for their tremendous support over the years, it has been a privilege working with them. I wish Selfridges Group every success with Arnotts in the future.”