Family behind Selfridges & Primark shoot into the UK’s top 10 rich list

Central Group has denied agreeing a sale for department store chain Selfridges, following media reports earlier today.
"The company would like to clarify that the company is not currently involved with the transaction reported in the news."
// The wealth of the Weston family, owners of Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Primark and Heal’s, stands at £10.53bn
// The family is now ranked #8 on the Sunday Times Rich List, up from last year’s rank of 13
// On a global basis, the owners of Asda/Walmart, Amazon, Zara & Louis Vuitton are in the top 10

The family behind the likes of Selfridges and Primark are the only billionaires in retail who have landed a spot in the UK top 10 for this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

According to The Sunday Times, the Weston family, owners of UK-based Wittington Investments, are the eighth-richest sterling billionaires in the country with an estimated worth of £10.53 billion.

This is an additional £30 billion compared to last year, when the Westons were ranked 13th on the UK rich list.


Iconic luxury retailers Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges are owned by Wittington Investments, as is furniture retailer Heal’s.

Wittington Investments also has a majority stake in Primark parent company AB Foods.

Fortnum & Mason chairwoman Kate Hobhouse is the sister of AB Foods chief executive George Weston.

Meanwhile, their cousin Alannah Weston is the chair of the Selfridges Group – having been in the role for a year after replacing her father and family patriarch Galen Weston.

The Selfridges Group consists of the eponymous department store in the UK, Holt Renfrew in Canada, de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands and both Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland.

The title of the richest billionaire in the UK went to Sir James Dyson, with an estimated worth of £16.2 billion.

Although not traditionally viewed as retailers, the Dyson empire consists of consumer-facing stores worldwide.

Elsewhere in the Sunday Times Rich List, the only other retail-linked family to have landed a spot in the UK top 20 are the Barclay brothers.

The Barclays had £1 billion wiped off their wealth since last year, but they retained their rank at 17.

Their online retail empire, which includes Littlewoods and Very, had record sales in 2017-18 despite a loss of £48.3 miliion.

Meanwhile, Tom Morris – the owner of discount chain Home Bargains – saw the biggest year-on-year jump of the retail billionaire, adding £510 million to his wealth and climbing from 40th to 30th richest in the UK.

Morris and his family are now valued an estimate £4.1 billion – more than retail tycoons Mike Ashley and Sir Philip Green combined.

Ashley and Green themselves were ranked 75th and 154th respectively on this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, after having £27 million and £30 million wiped off their respective worth.

While The Sunday Times still classified Ashley a billionaire, with an estimated worth of £1.94 billion, Green – who along with his wife Lady Tina is worth £930 million – is yet to regain his billionaire status after losing it last year.

Other notable retail billionaires on the UK rich list include Mahmud Kamani and family, who own the Boohoo Group retail empire, and Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group tycoon Philip Day.

Kamani, ranked 142nd, is estimated to be worth around £1.03 billion after losing £132 million since last year, while Day, ranked 125th, is worth £1.14 billion but lost £60 million since 2019.

On a global basis, the Sunday Times Rich List ranked The Walton family – the clan behind the Walmart retail empire, which in turn owns Asda in the UK – as the richest billionaires int the world with an estimated worth of £160.5 billion.

Their wealth is well ahead of runner up Jeff Bezos, the tycoon behind the Amazon empire, who is thought to be worth around £88.3 billion.

Rounding out the global top five is LVMH tycoon Bernard Arnault, with an estimated worth of £59.4 billion.

Inditex’s Amancio Ortega is still the richest man in fast fashion retail, ranking ninth on the global rich list with an estimated worth of £43 billion.

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