Brown Thomas

Brown Thomas & Company Limited is a chain of four Irish department stores, located in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick. Owned by the Wittington Investment Group, Brown Thomas is an upmarket chain, akin to Canada's Holt Renfrew chain and Britain's Selfridges stores, which are also controlled by the Weston dynasty.

Dublin Store(s)

The convert|130000|sqft|m2|sing=on Dublin Store on Grafton Street is the chain's flagship location. It includes Boutiques for Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Gucci, Armani Cosmetics, Jo Malone, Molton Brown, Penhaligon's, and the like. Ladies boutiques include Chanel, Valentino, Versace, Jimmy Choo, and many others. A Vera Wang bridal salon recently opened.

Other Store Info

The stores tend to a wide audience, vending both wearable and "standard" clothes and also expensive, "haute couture" garments. The downstairs of the Dublin branch contains "Browns Bar", a cafe, and a barber shop. The Limerick Branch also contains a Browns Café upstairs and a Browns Bar downstairs. A café is also located on the first floor in the Cork branch.

Also connected to the Dublin Branch is Aya Sushi Bar, on Clarendon Street. This is a conveyor sushi bar, and a stop here provides some respite from shopping in the area.

BT2

Brown Thomas also operates the BT2 chain, located in Grafton Street, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and Dundrum Town Centre. These stores have more mass market clothes aimed at younger buyers, such as the Ralph Lauren and Timberland children ranges. In the Grafton street outlet there is an LCD screen which shows children's films so children be entertained while their parents shop for them.

BT2 also sells a wide range of cosmetics. Paris Hilton chose BT2 as the launchsite of her perfum "Heiress by Paris Hilton".

In the summer of 2006 Starbucks Coffee opened an outlet the first floor of BT2 Grafton Street. In front of the children's department.

tores

*Dublin - convert|130000|sqft|m2
*Cork - convert|57000|sqft|m2
*Limerick - convert|43000|sqft|m2
*Galway - convert|17000|sqft|m2

Revenues for 2005 were about €210m.

History

The Dublin store first opened in its original location (now the Grafton Street branch of Marks and Spencer) in 1849, under its original owners Hugh Brown and James Thomas. In 1971, Galen Weston bought the company. In 1989, the company bought Switzers in Dublin, along with its sister stores Cashs of Cork, Moons of Galway and Todds of Limerick. The two Dublin stores merged in Switzers location in 1995, but under the name Brown Thomas. Cashs, Moon's and Todd's continued until 1998, however between 1998 and 2000 were all rebranded Brown Thomas. BT2 meanwhile opened in 1998. The company did also own the A-wear retail chain up to May 2007.

The Brown Thomas Group have since sold the clothing retail chain A-wear for €70m to a management buyout (MBO) team which is backed by UK private equity firm Alchemy Partners. Other contenders who may or may not have bid included Merrion Capital, Baugur and Irish Retail Expert Mark Delaney.

It is understood that Brown Thomas had expected to get €85m for the A-wear business but later settled for the lower sum.

References

* [http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2001/d2001-0592.html 3] (see section 4, factual background)
* [http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2006/10/15/story18014.asp 4]

Further reading

* [http://www.brownthomas.com/ Brown Thomas website]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2095-2261368,00.html Interview with Dalton Philips, ex-managing director of Brown Thomas]
* [http://www.showbizireland.com/news/july06/11-nylon01.shtml Visit by Nylon (band)]
* [http://www.irishmedicalnews.ie/articles.asp?Category=news&ArticleID=16620 Breast Cancer campaign launched in store]
* [http://www.irishabroad.com/news/irishinamerica/entertainment/ModelsFarrellFixation040706.asp Breast cancer campaign launch]
* [http://www.imt.ie/displayarticle.asp?AID=11179&NS=1&CAT=18&SID=1 Breast Cancer campaign launch]
* [http://www.cancer.ie/ Irish cancer society]
* [http://www.euromonitor.com/Retailing_in_Ireland Euromonitor] Lists Brown Thomas as 8th leading retailer in 2003


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