Retail news round-up November 6, 2013: Selfridges is vying for a stake in Irish department store Arnotts, Boots hires healthcare director from Walgreens and Sainsbury’s boss Justin King warns over Northern Irish planning process

Selfridges bids to take over Dublin department store Arnotts

UK retail giant Selfridges is vying for a stake in Ireland’s largest department store Arnotts, The Belfast Telegraph reported. Canadian Galen Weston, who controls Selfridges, also owns Irish department store Brown Thomas. It is thought Selfridges will differentiate Arnotts from Brown Thomas if they take over the department store.

Alliance Boots appoints healthcare director, health and beauty UK, Ireland

Walgreens corporate vice president for the western US Richard Ashworth has been appointed as director of healthcare, health and beauty UK and Ireland  at Alliance Boots. He will report to Simon Roberts, managing director, health and beauty UK and Ireland, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In this new position, Ashworth will bring his extensive leadership and knowledge in healthcare and will work in close collaboration with the experienced teams in both countries, to lead the development and delivery of Boots’ healthcare strategy.

Sainsbury’s boss warns over issuing planning permission in Northern Ireland

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said a lack of speed, logic and joined up thinking in issuing planning permission for supermarkets makes Northern Ireland a challenging place to invest, The Belfast Telegraph reported.

“The reality is Northern Ireland is in competition with the rest of the UK for the money which supermarkets like us invest in”, he said on a visit to Belfast to speak at the NI Food and Drink Association annual dinner. “Money follows opportunity and there are lots of other places in the UK where it is easier to invest and easier to deliver a return.”

Licenses such as those needed for selling alcohol or pharmacies that supermarkets need to operate have not been granted in collaboration with planning permissions Sainsbury’s has found.