Following previous speculations, it has now been confirmed that Selfridges has sold for $5.36 billion.

Purchased by Thailand's Central Group and Austrian real estate company Signa Holdings, the department store was bought alongside its other UK stores in Birmingham and Manchester, Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland, as well as the Dutch De Bijenkorf.

Selfridges was previously bought by the Weston family in 2002, for £628 million. Bids also came from the Qatar Investment Authority, which owns Hong Kong's Lane Crawford, as well as London's luxury department store Harrods.

According to Reuters, Central Group and Signa Holding also have plans to build a luxury hotel alongside the coveted site in London.

Of course, the investment in physical retail is risky, seeing as COVID-19 restrictions are once again returning as a result of the spread of the Omicron variant in Europe.

Over the past two years, retail stores have been forced to downsize or close for good as tourism has dwindled, and sales decreased. On Oxford Street, where Selfridges' flagship store is located, plenty of stores are still empty, including Debenhams which was forced to close its 120 stores as the brand collapsed.

However, as the world begins to open up as vaccines and booster jabs are being rolled out, investing in the return of physical retail might be the ultimate move.

Since its establishment in 1906, Selfridges has seen plenty of shifts, and the latest sale is the next chapter in the vast history of the luxury deparment store.


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