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Retail

Primark Founder Arthur Ryan Passes Away

Arthur Ryan, the founder of the Primark discount fashion chain, has passed away at the age of 83.

Ryan, who has been credited as the driving force behind the ‘fast fashion’ movement, cut his teeth at Dunnes Stores, working as a personal assistant to company founder Ben Dunne.

He founded Penneys – the name under which Primark still trades in Ireland – in 1969, after being tasked by the Weston family to open a discount clothes retailer.

Expansion to the UK followed, in 1973, setting in motion an international drive that now takes in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany, the USA and a myriad of other markets, as Primark evolved into the most lucrative wing of the Associated British Foods group.

Stepping Down

He stepped down from the role of chief executive of Primark in 2009, taking on the role of chairman. As the CEO of Associated British Foods, Galen Weston said at the time, “Arthur is the creator, driving force and inspiration behind the business and will continue to bring his enormous expertise and experience to its development in his role as chairman”.

Commenting on his passing, Paul Marchant, the current chief executive of Primark, said that Ryan “challenged us all to be the best we can be.

“His drive and passion was always shown alongside great humility, integrity and support for our people. All of these characteristics remain guiding principles at Primark today.”

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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