Hilary and Galen Weston
It has been another winning year for the powerful Westons – Ireland’s richest family – thanks to a sprawling business empire that includes Selfridges, Primark, Fortnum & Mason, Brown Thomas and Canadian department store chain Holt Renfrew.
The family’s business interests and influence stretch from the luxury end of the industry to the value retail sector, with 2017 proving profitable all round. At the value end, Primark reported an uplift in full-year sales and profits, partly thanks to a 1.5m sq ft expansion in retail space and net 30 new store openings.
The Westons received a £38.5m dividend in November after annual sales at Selfridges reached record highs. Operating profit at Selfridges jumped 18% year on year to £180m in the year to 28 January, while sales grew 16% to £1.6bn. The family’s payout was almost triple the previous year’s.