In 1858 Gordon Selfridge is working for retailer Marshall Field in Chicago and after introducing many new ideas including annual sales and the bargain basement, he is made a junior partner. At the grand old age of 48, Gordon Selfridge retires after buying Schlesinger & Mayer department store for $5m and selling it on 3 months later. He moved to London the following year.
W. Galen Weston is Chairman and President of George Weston Limited, a company founded by his grandfather, George Weston, in 1882 that now processes and distributes food products throughout North America.
Mr. Weston is also Chairman of one of the premier luxury goods company in Europe and Canada including Holt Renfrew, Selfridges and Brown Thomas.
The store changes hands again, with Charles Clore's British Shoe Corporation buying a controlling interest in Lewis' in 1965 for £63m. The following year Miss Selfridges opens up to sell fashion designed by Pierre Cardin, among others, to young women.
The Masterplan to totally transform Selfridges is launched in 1994 (completed in 1999) and in 1996 Vittorio Radice is appointed as Chief Executive. In 1998, Selfridges' demerger from the Sears group is announced and a brand new Selfridges' opens up in Trafford Park in Manchester.
Mr. Weston was born in England in 1940 to Canadian parents, W. Garfield Weston and Reta L. Howard. While working in Ireland, Mr. Weston met and married Hilary M. Weston (Frayne) in 1966. Mr Weston and the Hon. Hilary M. Weston have two children, Alannah and Galen, who are both active in the family businesses.
In 1972, he returned with his family to Canada and took control of the family business.
In 2003, he purchased Selfridges and he and his wife, Hilary, are intimately involved with the development and growth of this important company.