British department store Selfridges to be sold to Thai conglomerate

The British luxury department store Selfridges is to be sold to Thai conglomerate Central Group, according to local newspaper The Times.

Owners of the store, which has a flagship store on Oxford Street, have reportedly agreed a 4 billion GBP deal with the Bangkok-based company in recent days. The two firms are said to be close to finalising the sale by the end of the year.

Selfridges was founded in 1908 is now owned by the Weston family, who live in Canada. They have 25 stores worldwide.

Central Group, which is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), owns dozens of shopping malls in the country as well as the Rinascente malls in Italy, Illum in Denmark, Alsterhaus, KaDeWe, and Oberpollinger in Germany, and Globus in Switzerland.

High street retail has been one of the sectors suffering the most during the Covid-19 pandemic due to lockdowns and restrictions people moving freely in shops and supermarkets.

Foreign takeovers of UK firms has since hit the highest level since 2018 with a number of British companies sold during the pandemic. They include Morrisons, Signature Aviation, insurer RSA, security firm G4S, and others.