Billionaire Selfridges owners the Weston family consider selling iconic department stores for £4billion after being approached by mystery buyer

  • High street favourite Selfridges is currently owned by the wealthy Weston family
  • It is understood they have been approached by a mystery buyer with bid
  • The prestigious brand is thought to be worth in the region of £4billion 

A mystery buyer has offered to purchase the Selfridges department stores for around £4billion.

The prestigious chain has been approached over the bid after a challenging year caused by the pandemic and its restrictions.

It is currently owned by the wealthy Weston family and has been a staple of the high street for the past 113 years.

They have appointed Credit Suisse as advisers to consider what the next step forward for the company could be.

Anne Pitcher, the boss of Selfridges, said earlier this year: ‘We will change the way we shop from this point on forever.

‘We will shop more digitally, there will be fewer stores, I’m afraid. 

High street favourite Selfridges is currently owned by the wealthy Weston family

The prestigious chain has been approached over the bid after a challenging year

‘People in the short term will not want to visit public spaces as often or attend large events. It will be the most difficult year ahead of us that we’ve ever known.’

‘it’s the years beyond that that are going to be the exciting times.

‘This is about reinventing retail, nothing less.’

Selfridges is named after founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge back in 1908.

In 2003 The Weston family took it private for £598 million.

Retail experts told the Times that Selfridges’ locations meant it would be attractive to potential buyers.

Selfridges has stores in Manchester and Birmingham, and was bought for £598million in 2003

Selfridges owns more than 600,000 square feet of selling space at its flagship Oxford Street store in London. 

Its early years were documented in an ITV period drama, which ran between 2013 and 2016.

It followed the American-British retail magnate Selfridge as he invested £400,000 to build a shop on what was then the unfashionable end of Oxford Street. 

The business, which also runs stores in Manchester and Birmingham, was bought by the Westons for £598million in 2003.

Its Irish operations – Arnotts and Brown Thomas – are also believed to form part of the approach. 

In May selfridges has acquired a licence to host weddings this summer in a bid to help couples struggling with unprecedented demand for venues post-Covid.

The luxury department store will be able to host ceremonies for a limited time at its flagship London Oxford Street store, with three packages available for couples looking for a ‘non-traditional ceremony in a venue like no other’.

They have created a dedicated ‘Wedding Suite’ on the fourth floor of the grade-II listed building, which is customisable, can hold up to 20 guests and even has the option of a drag queen to officiate.

Almost 280,000 weddings occur every year in the UK, with more than 260,000 weddings postponed due to the pandemic, figures suggest.

Added to the weddings planned for 2021 this means as many as 475,000 weddings could be planned for this year – with weekday dates now as in demand as the typically more popular weekend.

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