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Brown Thomas Arnotts fashion buying director Shelly Corkery leaves to ‘explore new opportunities’



Brown Thomas and Arnotts staff have been informed that fashion buying director Shelly Corkery will leave the business on Friday to “explore new opportunities”.

Ms Corkery, who hails from Cork, had been with the Irish retailer for 24 years, serving as its fashion buying director for the past four years.

In a note to staff, Brown Thomas Arnotts chief executive Donald McDonald said Ms Corkery had contributed “immensely to the success” of the business.

“Shelly has overseen the world-class renovation of the luxury accessory hall in Brown Thomas Grafton Street, the annual showcase of Irish design, CREATE, and introduced an elevated line-up of exclusive brands, collaborations and concession to the stores,” he said.

The note added that Mr McDonald would work closely with the fashion buying teams over the next few weeks on “future ways of working as we continue on our journey to reinvent retail and lead the way in the Irish retail market”.

Commenting on her departure, Ms Corkery said: “I have taken this role as far as I can and I will finish on Friday after 24 years. I absolutely gave my all to Brown Thomas and adored my job, continuing the vision of the Westons and Paul Kelly [her husband] that was so special. But things change and there are new owners and it is still an amazing store and there will be opportunities for people to move it on.

“I have been working since 19 without a break and I now need six months off for my heart and my mind. I love fashion and working with my team and it has been a huge part of my life. I now intend to take it easy and need some ‘me time’ as I am exhausted. It was a tough decision to make as my work has been so addictive.”

Ms Corkery is married to Mr Kelly, who ran Brown Thomas for 10 years before moving to a senior executive role within the UK-based Selfridges Group, under whose umbrella the Irish department store retailer operates. He left the group in 2021.

Brown Thomas Arnotts was sold by the family of Galen Weston in August 2022, when Cambridge Retail Group Holding Ltd (a joint venture between Thai conglomerate Central Group and Signa Retail in Austria) bought the business as part of a wider £4 billion (€4.7 billion) deal for a group of retail assets that included Selfridges.

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