Central Group and Signa Officially Acquire Luxury Retailer Selfridges

This week, Central Group and Signa Holding announced that they had officially acquired the British luxury stores chain Selfridges Group.

Thailand’s largest department store chain Central Group and real estate company Signa Holding have acquired the luxury retailer hoping to become a major player in the department store sector.

As a result of the Selfridges acquisition, a leading group of luxury department stores has also emerged with a presence in eight countries across Europe and flagship stores in highly sought-after locations.

The plans were announced last year when Central Group revealed that it was about to close the acquisition of Selfridges stores for $4.76 billion.

Now the largest department store owner in Thailand owns the retail group’s portfolio, which includes Selfridges in England, Brown Thomas & Arnotts in Ireland, and De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.

All join Central and Signa’s existing combined portfolio, which already includes 22 luxury department stores in European countries such as Italy, Denmark, and Switzerland, plus two new stores set to open soon in Dusseldorf and Vienna.

Consequently, Selfridges Group joins the other joint venture holdings, which include Rinascente in Italy, Illum in Denmark, Glubos in Switzerland, and KaDeWe, Oberpollinger and Alsterhaus in Germany.

The integration also includes Selfridges’ e-commerce platforms with shipments to more than 130 countries and more than 30 million monthly online visitors.

The acquisition came after the joint venture announced it had bought Swiss luxury department store Globus and other real estate assets for $1 billion.

Central Group’s Executive Chairman and CEO, Mr. Tos Chirathivat, and Signa Holding’s Chairman of the Executive Board, Mr. Dieter Berninghaus, will be the new joint venture’s co-chairmen.

Mr. Tos Chirathivat said that the group was committed to creating a world-leading omnichannel platform to provide world-class solutions to its customers.

The latest reports showed that the pro forma annual turnover for the combined department store portfolio was €5 billion in 2019. It’s expected to reach €7 billion in the next two years.

According to the joint venture’s representatives, the project is expected to increase innovation and knowledge sharing across various locations.

Operated by the Canadian Weston family since 2003, Selfridges is best known as the giant store on London’s Oxford Street. Central and Signa are now expected to operate all its stores at all existing locations.

Business experts believe the joint venture’s latest moves indicate that the brick-and-mortar retail industry is very much alive and the current leading players now rely on Sunday shopping rather than just online and offline operations.