Selfridges Group has acquired Arnotts department store in Dublin from Fitzwilliam Finance Partners.
Selfridges Group said it is ‘very excited about the opportunity to build on the Arnotts brand and its unique identity, and to grow and expand Arnotts as an integral member of its award winning international portfolio of department stores’ which includes Brown Thomas in Ireland, Holt Renfrew in Canada, Selfridges & Co in the UK, and de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.
Selfridges Group added that is committed to investing in Arnotts by enhancing the shopping experience for its customers, upgrading the store environment and introducing new premium brands across all categories. Arnotts will continue to preserve its own identity.
Founded in 1843, Arnotts is one of Ireland’s oldest and largest department stores, occupying a prime location on Henry Street, one of the busiest shopping thoroughfares in Dublin’s city centre. A multi-category retailer incorporating homeware, womenswear, menswear, beauty, childrenswear, jewellery and accessories, Arnotts also operates a number of cafés and restaurants within its 267,000sq ft footprint.
Commenting on the acquisition of Arnotts, Selfridges Group chairman Galen Weston said: “Our family has been a significant investor in Irish retailing and the wider economy since we acquired Brown Thomas in 1971.”
Commenting on behalf of Selfridges Group, managing director Paul 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.”
Selfridges Group has appointed Paul Kelly as chairman of ARHL (ARHL Retail Holdings Limited), the parent company of Arnotts, and Donald McDonald as managing director of the Arnotts business. Donald has a wealth of experience working in the retail industry and takes over from Ray Hernan, who is stepping down as chief executive of Arnotts Group.
Commenting on the appointment, Paul Kelly said: “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.”
Ray 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.”
Left to right: Paul Kelly, managing director of Selfridges Group and Galen Weston, chairman of Selfridges Group