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Primark founder Arthur Ryan no more

Jul '19
Arthur Ryan/Pic: Primark
Arthur Ryan/Pic: Primark
Arthur Ryan, founder-chairman of British budget fashion chain Primark passed away following a short illness. Ryan set up the high street retailer as Penneys in 196p in Dublin before expanding to the United Kingdom 12 years later. He ran the company for 40 years as chief executive and gave up his day-to-day control of the firm to become chairman 10 years ago.

The chain now has over 350 stores in 11 countries across Europe and the United States. The chain is still known as Penneys in Ireland, but was renamed when it expanded to the United Kingdom to avoid legal issues with US department store chain JC Penney, which had trademarked the name.

Ryan’s son Barry, 51, died in 2015 along with grandson Barry Davis Ryan, 20, and his girlfriend Niamh O’Connor, 20, after being swept out to sea.

George Weston, chief executive of Primark's parent company Associated British Foods, said Ryan would be remembered as ‘one of the great giants of retailing’, according to British media reports.

Weston’s grandfather, Garfield Weston, and uncle, Galen Weston, had recruited Ryan to run Penneys in 1969 with only one store in Dublin. Ryan, 83, who lived in Dublin, was reportedly a reclusive person and had not given an interview since the 1970s. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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July 2019

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