New Selfridges owners plan luxury hotel for Oxford Street site

Central, a family-owned retail, real estate and hospitality group and Signa, one of Europe’s leading real estate and retail groups, have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Selfridges Group, a leading luxury retail group, from the Weston family.

The late W. Galen Weston acquired the world-famous Selfridges store in 2003. He formed Selfridges Group in 2010, bringing his five heritage department store brands under one group. Working closely with his daughter, Alannah Weston, and the leadership team, Weston invested heavily in his vision for a world-renowned group of luxury department stores, charging the management team with the complete transformation of each business into the globally recognized, iconic omni-channel brands that they are today. The Weston family and the Selfridges Group leadership team have led the way in reinventing retail, placing creativity, customer experience and sustainability at the heart of their strategy.

The Central and Signa 50/50 partnership will build on Selfridges’ strong foundations and luxury online customer offering, developing an integrated and compelling omni-channel proposition, with exclusive and market-leading online stores as an extension of the physical stores.

Selfridges Group become part of the combined Central and Signa portfolio of luxury department stores, which owns Rinascente in Italy, Illum in Denmark, Globus in Switzerland and The KaDeWe Group, which operates in Germany and Austria (starting in 2024).

With world-leading designers and architects, the new owners are planning to innovatively develop the department stores in all locations including plans to redevelop the hotel that was closed in 2008.

The site on Oxford street will benefit from an upgraded food hall and a luxury hotel in a part of the building that has been left empty since its closure.

Signa's executive chair Dieter Berninghaus told the Financial Times: "We plan to trade up the food hall of Selfridges. That is one of our core competencies we have in the group, in KaDeWe and in Globus: we operate the best fine food delicatessen business in the world."

He added that developing the hotel and apartments realise "significant value upside potential" that was reflected in the purchase price.

Commenting on the partnership with Central to purchase the Selfridges Group, Berninghaus said: "Together we will work with the world's leading architects to sensitively reimagine the stores in each location, transforming these iconic destinations into sustainable, energy-efficient, modern spaces, whilst staying true to their architectural and cultural heritage. We plan to fulfil the vision of the late Galen Weston to deliver his masterplan and create a high-quality experience retailing environment for our customers and brand partners."