The sale of the century: what next for Arnotts and BT?

News that the Selfridges group, parent company to Arnotts and Brown Thomas, is being sold has sent shockwaves through the luxury retail sector – and speculation abounds regarding potential buyers and the future of the two iconic Irish department stores

Brown Thomas, a pivotal retail presence on Dublin’s Grafton Street. Picture: Fergal Phillips

When Galen Weston, the Canadian retail magnate, died earlier this year at the age of 80, it prompted inevitable speculation about the future of his business empire. Less than four months later, his family is selling off one of his most prized assets, the Selfridges group.

Selfridges, which is run by Weston’s daughter Alannah, includes two of the biggest names in Irish retail: Brown Thomas and Arnotts, the Dublin department stores.

The sale, which was ...