Selfridges’ new owners plan to create a luxurious hotel in conjunction with a significant revamp of their flagship store.
The 113-year-old business, whose UK stores are in London, Manchester and Birmingham, was sold by the Weston family for £4billion on Christmas Eve.
The buyers – Thai retailer Central Group and Austrian property firm Signa – now want to overhaul the Oxford Street site in London.
Room and board: The new buyers of Selfridges buyers – Thai retailer Central Group and Austrian property firm Signa – want to overhaul the Oxford Street site in London (picture
Since 2008, when the Selfridges Hotel closed down, a portion of this area has been vacant.
Central and Signa have plans to create a luxury hotel, as well as serviced apartment buildings. Signa executive chairman Dieter Berninghaus said such a move would mean ‘significant upside potential’ for the new owners.
‘The purchase price merely reflects the valuation of the main Selfridges building and its retail utilisation,’ he told the Financial Times.
Signa and Central already share ownership of the Globus Swiss department store chain and Kadewe Berlin department store, but they will be focusing on food. Berninghaus said: ‘We plan to trade up the food hall of Selfridges.
This is one of the core strengths we have within our group. We operate the best fine food delicatessen business in the world.’
American Harry Gordon Selfridge, who founded Selfridges in 1908 in Dublin, opened 25 Selfridges shops around the world including one in Canada.
It was bought by the Weston family for £598million in 2003 in a deal spearheaded by Galen Weston who died in April aged 80.
The billionaire Thai Chirathivat is the owner of Central Group, while Rene Benko, an Austrian property magnate and founder of Signa Group, controls Signa Group. They will be sharing 50-50 ownership in Selfridges.
London’s proposed redevelopment comes amid an influx of changes on Oxford Street, which has seen Topshop, French Connection, Debenhams and Gap close.
House of Fraser will likely leave the market soon, while Primark and its younger competitors continue to grow.
Selfridges plans the future for Oxford Street.
Marks & Spencer’s Marble Arch flagship store is set for an overhaul. This retailer will raze the existing building to build a brand new location with half of the retail space, and offices on the upper floors.
It will feature a mall, small park, and facilities such as a fitness center.
John Lewis plans to turn its upper floors in offices. Shoppers will also be able to shop online, so John Lewis may convert them as well.