Selfridges chief executive Paul Kelly has been reinstated as head of Irish upmarket department store Brown Thomas, in a reshuffle which has also seen managing director Nigel Blow leave the group.

Kelly was deputy chairman and was promoted by Brown Thomas owner and Canadian billionaire Galen Weston.

Kelly will remain chief executive of Selfridges, also owned by Weston. He ran the Brown Thomas group between 1992 and 2003.

Irish retailers have suffered in the recession, among exceptionally tough trading conditions in the country. Kelly is expected to return to reinvigorate the seven-store group.

In a statement Brown Thomas said: “Outgoing managing director Nigel Blow has left the Brown Thomas group and his efforts over the last three years are greatly appreciated.”

Kelly added: “All Irish retailers are facing difficult economic circumstances at the moment but I believe that our strong brand heritage gives us a unique position in the market.

“I have been in the retail business for over 40 years and I know that the Brown Thomas group will continue to thrive and deliver the international quality that has earned us our exemplary reputation over many years.”

Stephen Sealey, formerly director of womenswear and accessories at Brown Thomas, has become managing director, reporting directly to Kelly.