Tuesday 13 April 2021 9:08 pm

Retail and food magnate behind Selfridges and Primark dies aged 80

W. Galen Weston, the retail and food businessman behind Selfridges Group, Fortnum & Mason and Primark, has died aged 80.

Weston passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness, his family announced today.

“My father’s greatest gift was inspiring those around him to achieve more than they thought possible,” said his son Galen G. Weston, who took over from the entrepreneur after his retirement in 2016.

“In our business and in his life he built a legacy of extraordinary accomplishment and joy,” he added.

His daughter, Alannah Weston, who chairs the Selfridges Group, said that “the luxury retail industry has lost a great visionary.”

Weston, born in England in 1940, oversaw and expanded his family’s retail empire that includes Selfridges, Primark owner Associated British Foods and Canada’s largest food retailer Loblaw.

Weston is credited with rescuing Loblaw from bankruptcy in the early 1970s before succeeding his father in the family business.

The youngest of nine children in a prominent family, he was also a close friend of Prince Charles.

Since his retirement, Weston remained a part of his family’s philanthropic endeavours including the Weston Family Foundation and the Weston Brain Institute.