Brown Thomas to wind-up dormant companies ahead of refurbishment

Grafton Street flagship store to get €8.5m make-over this year

The owners of Irish department store retailer Brown Thomas have decided to wind up about 10 dormant companies registered here with the companies office.

Brown Thomas managing director Stephen Sealey said it was a housekeeping exercise. "They are all dormant companies and haven't traded for years. Some of them have an emotional attachment given the history of the business, but we've decided to tidy up the structure."

Mr Sealey said the process would begin in the coming weeks with adverts appearing in national newspapers about the liquidation of various entities owned by the group. It could take up to 10 months to complete as some of the entities will seek a members’ voluntary liquidation.

The first tranche of companies to be wound up will include Gaywear Ltd, Switzer & Co, The Bailey Ltd and John S Ferguson Ltd. Others that will be liquidated will include Cash and Company Ltd, Brown Thomas & Co (Investments) Ltd and Alexander Moon Ltd.


Mr Sealey said Carlow Investment Company Ltd would continue to operate as the holding company for the retailer's activities here. It made an operating profit of €6 million on turnover of €143.5 million for the year to February 2nd, 2013, according to its latest accounts.

Brown Thomas is part of the UK-based Selfridges retail group and is owned by successful Canadian businessman Galen Weston and his family.

Brown Thomas this week began an €8.5 million refurbishment of its ground floor operations at its flagship department store on Grafton Street in Dublin. Mr Sealey expects the project to take more than eight months to complete.

“It’s under way and it’s exciting times for us. We would hope to have it all finished by the end of November, in time for our peak trading period [over Christmas],” he said. The other floors of Brown Thomas would be given a makeover in 2015 and 2016. “We’re still very much at the planning stage with that,” Mr Sealey added.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times