herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

New owners 'will not change Arnotts - yet'

retail

Arnotts Department Store
Arnotts Department Store

The new owners of Arnotts aren't expected to look at making any changes to the business until well into next year.

High-end UK retail giant Selfridges have bough the iconic Dublin department store for an undisclosed sum. It is now part of an upmarket group of well-known retail outlets owned by Canadian businessman Galen Weston and his Irish wife Hilary, which includes Brown Thomas, Selfridges in the UK, Holt Renfrew in Canada and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.

Selfridges Group has already said that it will retain and operate under the existing identity and brand of Arnotts, and it is understood that the new owners are not expected to look at making any alterations to the business until "the back half of next year".

And for now there is no threat to employees, with existing terms and conditions to be honoured. There are 570 direct employees and about 600 assigned to concessions.

"I think it will be the back half of next year by the time they settle into the business and get to know it and establish what they want to do with it," one source said.

Founded in 1843, Arnotts is one of Ireland's oldest and largest department stores, occupying a prime location on Henry Street. Selfridges announced this week that it had bought the store from Fitzwilliam Finance Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Wittington Properties, controlled by Brown Thomas owners the Weston family, took control of Arnotts in August in a deal with developer Noel Smyth and his Fitzwilliam company. That agreement divided the former Arnotts Group between the Westons and Fitzwilliam.

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