Former Brown Thomas and Selfridges boss Paul Kelly receives retail award

Irishman is honoured with medal in Amsterdam ceremony

Paul Kelly, the former managing director of Brown Thomas, has been awarded the Isidoro Álvarez Lifetime Achievement Medal at World Retail Awards 2019.

Paul Kelly, the former managing director of Brown Thomas, has been awarded the Isidoro Álvarez Lifetime Achievement Medal at World Retail Awards 2019.

 

Retailer Paul Kelly, the former managing director of Brown Thomas, has been awarded the Isidoro Álvarez Lifetime Achievement Medal at World Retail Awards 2019.

Mr Kelly was honoured at the ceremony in Amsterdam on Thursday night.

The award was created in 2018 to recognise people who have made an outstanding contribution to retailing over their careers in the industry.

It is presented in memory of Isidoro Álvarez, the former chairman of Spanish department store group El Corte Inglés, and supported by his daughters Marta and Cristina Álvarez.

The Irishman said he was honoured to be chosen as the recipient this year and said he was “extremely grateful” for the career he has had to date.

After beginning his career at Dunnes Stores in Ireland, Mr Kelly rose to the top of Brown Thomas, before becoming chief executive of UK-based Selfridges & Co in 2004.

“Throughout my time within Selfridges Group, I have worked with literally thousands of people, across all aspects of the business, all of whom have played a key role in shaping my career trajectory. I owe them and the Weston family a huge debt in terms of inspiring and motivating me over the course of my working life.”

In 2010, he was promoted to the position of managing director of Selfridges Group, working alongside recently appointed chair Alannah Weston, who succeeded father Galen Weston.

The department store group comprises Selfridges & Co, Canada’s Holt Renfrew, de Bijenkorf in the Netherlands and both Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland.

Earlier this year, Paul took up his new role as managing director of Wittington Property Investments, overseeing future plans for the Selfridges Hotel and other properties, in the UK and Europe. Wittington is the Weston family’s private holding company and the controlling entity for businesses including Selfridges Group.