Arthur Ryan, founder and president of Irish fashion firm 'low cost'Primark, died Monday after a brief illness on the 50th anniversary of the opening in Dublin of the first store of Penneys, seed of what would end up becomingone of the largest European textile chains, currently integrated in the Associated British Foods group (AB Foods).
Since the opening of that first establishment in Dublin's Mary Street on July 1, 1969, the firm, known internationally as Primark, has372 storesdistributed in a dozen countries, 47 in Spain, and more than 75,000 employees.
"On behalf of everyone at Primark, we are very sad about the death of our founder and president, Arthur Ryan, and we want to express our deepest condolences to Arthur's family at this very sad time," the current CEO said in a statement. from Primark, Paul Marchant, underlining that Ryan was a retail pioneer and a visionary leader.
"Throughout his career, Arthur remained deeplyconnected to the business and the client, visiting the shops regularly and walking around the workshop. His legacy will continue in the business that he founded and built, "he added.
Paul Marchant took over the management of Primark operations from Ryan himself on September 13, 2009.
For his part, George Weston, CEO of ABFoods, noted that the work of Arthur Ryan"made fashion accessible to everyone"creating a world-class textile chain that will always be part of Ireland.
Last week, ABFoods announced that Primark sales recorded a 4% growth in the first nine months of its fiscal year, which runs from October 2018 to September 2019, thanks to the increase in sales area, while the comparable turnover of the firm experienced a year-on-year decline.
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