Primark’s founder Arthur Ryan passes away

by Apparel Resources News-Desk

12-July-2019  |  2 mins read

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Irish fast-fashion retailer Primark’s founder, chairman and former CEO, Arthur Ryan, recently passed away after a short illness. He was 83 years old.

“On behalf of everyone at Primark, we are greatly saddened by the passing of our founder and chairman, Arthur Ryan. We want to extend our deepest sympathies to Arthur’s family at this sad time. Arthur Ryan was a truly gifted retailer and a visionary leader,” said Paul Marchant, CEO, Primark in a statement.

He further added “Throughout his entire career, Arthur remained deeply connected to the business and the customer, regularly visiting stores and walking the shop floor. His legacy will continue in the business that he founded and built. Those of us who worked closely with him will cherish his friendship and wisdom and he will be hugely missed by all of his Primark family.”

Arthur Ryan made fashion accessible to all. He established the high street retailer as Penneys (later Primark) in 1969 in his hometown of Dublin in Ireland.

The company now has over 350 stores in 11 countries across Europe and the US. He ran the company for around 40 years and a decade ago, he gave up his day-to-day control of the company to become chairman instead. But he was “deeply connected” to the business and had continued to regularly visit stores.

George Weston, CEO of Associated British Foods said, “Arthur Ryan will be remembered as one of the great giants of retailing. When my grandfather, Garfield Weston, and uncle, Galen Weston, recruited Arthur to run Penneys in 1969 with only one store in Dublin, they knew they were hiring an exceptional trader.” But what three generations of Westons learned over the following decades was that Arthur was also a great leader and business builder, driven every day by a relentless desire to delight his customers.

It is pertinent to mention here that Primark is sourcing apparels from around 158 companies.

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