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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
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What does the Selfridges takeover mean for the future of Arnotts?

Retail experts say the development is great news for the department store – and for Dublin in general.

FOLLOWING THE CLOSURE of Clerys and the announcement of the planned closure of Boyers in recent months, last evening’s news that another landmark Dublin department store, Arnotts, has been bought by UK retail giant Selfridges has gone a long way towards shoring up confidence in the retail trade on the northside of the city.

But what does the sale of one of the capital’s most iconic stores mean for Arnotts – and for the retail landscape of the city as a whole?

“The news is a huge vote of confidence for Arnotts and for the Irish retail sector,” fashion retail consultant Eddie Shanahan told

“I think it is a very positive development, especially given some of the negative stories we’ve seen in the sector in recent years.”

The Selfridges Group, who also have Brown Thomas as part of their portfolio in Ireland, have taken ownership of the store, it was confirmed last night. It was previously owned by Fitzwilliam Finance partners, a corporate entity set up by Irish developer Noel Smyth.

And while precise plans for the retailer’s development have yet to be announced, Selfridges’ Irish managing director Paul Kelly has said he intends to build on the store’s iconic history.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Kelly highlighted homewares and food as possible areas for development. He also rejected suggestions the store could be rebranded as a Brown Thomas saying “it’s Arnotts and we didn’t buy it for anything other than to be the Arnotts business”.

In a statement, Selfridges Group said it was committed to investing in Arnotts as “the premium department store in Ireland”.

Kelly’s comments in the press release noted that Selfridges had “an excellent track record leading retailing in Ireland”.

“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.”

10/9/2015 Boyers To Close Down Sam Boal Boyers on Talbot Street, which is set to close in January. Sam Boal

Shanahan said he believed the future looked bright for the department store despite the closure of nearby competitors, noting:

“It’s good for consumers, staff and suppliers – we can hopefully say that Arnotts won’t end up as another Clerys.”

Meanwhile Richard Guiney, CEO of business group DublinTown, said the addition of an upper-end retailer like Selfridges could only make a positive contribution to the area.

I’m as optimistic as I’ve ever been about that part of the city and there is a mood of optimism among other retailers in the area. A group like Selfridges shows that Dublin city centre is worth investing in.

Read: Another landmark store gone: Boyers to shut down at start of 2016 >

Read: Arnotts has been bought by international retail group Selfridges >

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