A Thai-Austrian alliance has become the new owner of Selfridges Group.
Selfridges & Co, the U.K.'s most prominent luxury department store operator, has changed ownership. Selfridges Group's new owner is an Austrian-Thai alliance. The deal is valued at about $5.4 billion.
American retail tycoon Harry Gordon Selfridge founded Selfridges in the early 20th century. The flagship store on London's Oxford Street, which opened in 1909, is now the second-largest store in Britain after Harrods. In 2003, control of the business passed to the Canadian company Galen Weston, which paid £600 million for the asset. In the summer of 2021, the Weston family put the industry up for auction with an estimated 4 billion pounds.
As of 2021, the Selfridges chain includes 25 department stores in the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, and other markets. As far as is known, the Thai-Austrian alliance is purchasing 18 stores with the deal. The Canadian division, working under the Holt Renfrew brand, is not involved in the agreement and remains under the control of the previous owner for now.
The new owners of Selfridges plan to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the iconic brand with the modernization of existing physical stores and expansion on the Internet. Thai Central Retail also owns department stores La Rinascente in Italy, Illum in Denmark, and KaDeWe in Berlin.