Central Group has outlined its strategy for expanding its luxury department store operations and strengthening its relationship with luxury brands following its acquisition of Selfridges Group. The company plans to utilize underutilized space within the flagship London store’s hotel, car park, and surrounding areas to develop the Selfridges properties. This move is a crucial part of Central Group’s global luxury department store strategy.

However, Central Group’s plans go beyond Selfridges. Over the next five years, the company will invest almost €1.3 billion in its European operations. This investment will focus on opening new stores, upgrading existing ones, and expanding its e-commerce presence. Central Group intends to spend €900 million on opening new department stores in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. It also has plans to revamp Rinascente’s Turin store and other projects.

Collaboration with luxury conglomerates such as LVMH, Kering, and Richemont will be a key aspect of Central Group’s strategy. The company aims to enhance the luxury offerings in its stores and improve the overall shopping experience. Additionally, Central Group plans to become a leading e-tail platform and a key partner for luxury brands. It will expand the reach of Selfridges.com globally, targeting not only the UK and mainland Europe but also Asia. This move will expose the Selfridges brand to a broader consumer base with a strong affinity for luxury products.

Central Group’s investment in e-commerce is intended to drive rapid growth in this segment. Currently, e-commerce accounts for €1 billion of the company’s European sales, representing 17% of its total revenue. Central Group expects its combined department store sales to reach €6.7 billion this year. The various stores owned by Selfridges Group, including Selfridges itself, De Bijenkorf, Brown Thomas, and Arnotts, as well as Rinascente in Italy, Illum in Denmark, and KaDeWe in Germany, contribute to this overall figure.

Tos Chirathivat, the CEO of Central Group, expressed his satisfaction with the company’s achievement of becoming the department store business with the largest international presence, boasting 120 locations across 11 countries. This milestone highlights Central Group’s commitment to establishing a strong global presence in the luxury retail sector.

In summary, Central Group’s acquisition of Selfridges Group serves as the foundation for its ambitious luxury department store strategy. Through the development of Selfridges properties, the opening of new stores, the strengthening of luxury brand partnerships, and the expansion of e-commerce operations, Central Group aims to solidify its position as a leading player in the luxury retail market.

Useful links:
1. Central Group Official Website
2. Selfridges Official Website