Central Group and Signa have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Selfridges Group from the Weston family.
The Selfridges Group portfolio comprises 18 iconic and leading department stores, including Selfridges in London, Manchester and Birmingham, de Bijenkorf in Netherlands, Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland, their associated e-commerce platforms and the properties in London, Manchester and five locations in Ireland. The transaction will see Selfridges Group become part of the combined Central and Signa portfolio of luxury department stores, which owns Rinascente, Illum, Globus and The KaDeWe Group.
The pro-forma annual turnover for the combined department stores portfolio was €5bn in 2019 and is projected to grow to more than €7bn by 2024. The combination will create a complementary portfolio of leading European luxury department stores, which will enable innovation know-how and knowledge-sharing to be shared across different locations.
Central and Signa will operate all the stores in Selfridges Group including Selfridges, de Bijenkorf, Brown Thomas and Arnotts, which will continue to be run by the existing leadership teams, as well as their e-commerce platforms and operating companies. The Canadian business, Holt Renfrew, will remain with the Weston family. The Central and Signa 50/50 partnership will build on Selfridges’ strong foundations and luxury online customer offering, developing an integrated and compelling omni-channel proposition, with exclusive and market-leading online stores as an extension of the physical stores.
Tos Chirathivat, Executive Chairman & CEO of Central, said: “It is a privilege to be acquiring Selfridges Group, including the flagship Oxford Street store, which has been at the centre of London’s most famous shopping street for over 100 years. As family businesses, Central and Signa will focus on delivering exceptional and inclusive store and digital experiences for both local residents and overseas visitors alike, to ensure we can give all the stores in Selfridges Group a bright future for the next 100 years. We are looking forward to working with the management teams and the colleagues across Selfridges Group, as we seek to create a world-leading luxury, retail company.”
Alannah Weston, Chairman of Selfridges Group, said: “The acquisition of Selfridges Group by Central and Signa is testament to the successful realisation of my father’s vision for an iconic group of beautiful, truly experiential, department stores. Creative thinking has been at the heart of everything we did together for nearly twenty years and sustainability is deeply embedded in the business. I am proud to pass the baton to the new owners who are family businesses that take a long-term view. I know they will fully embrace that vision and continue to empower our incredible team to take the Group from strength to strength.”
Anne Pitcher, Global Managing Director of Selfridges Group, said: “I am proud that over the last two decades of Weston Family ownership, we have built Selfridges Group into the sustainable, innovative and world-leading retail group it is today. Our relationships with our brand partners have never been stronger; our e-commerce platforms are well-invested and going from strength to strength; and our sustainability initiatives position us at the forefront of reinventing retail. We could not have done any of this without our teams and I would like to place on the record my thanks, to every one of them for helping make this business what it is today.” “We are joining an impressive group of leading luxury department stores across Europe presenting a fantastic opportunity for the business and reinforcing our leading status and position in global retail.”
I am proud to pass the baton to the new owners who are family businesses that take a long-term view.
Chairman of Selfridges Group