Primark founder Arthur Ryan dies aged 83

Primark founder Arthur Ryan has died aged 83.

The chairman and former chief executive of the budget fashion chain passed away following a short illness.

The Irishman opened the first Penneys shop in Dublin in 1969 before expanding to Britain in 1973 and changing its name.

Since then Primark has gone on to open 370 stores across 12 countries, employing 75,000 people.

After crossing over the Irish channel the store was renamed to avoid legal issues with American department store chain JC Penney, which had trademarked the name in Britain.

The first store in Mary Street was opened after Mr Ryan was tasked by the wealthy Weston family to open a discount clothes retailer.

His passing comes after his son Barry Ryan, 51, his grandson Barry Davis Ryan, 20, and his grandson’s girlfriend Niamh O’Connor, 20 died together in a drowning accident in June 2015.

 

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