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Paul  Kelly to lead Brown Thomas

Selfridges chief executive Paul Kelly has been reinstalled as head of Irish luxury department store Brown Thomas as part of a surprise reshuffle in which Brown Thomas  chief executive Nigel Blow left the group.

Kelly, who will remain chief executive of Selfridges in the UK, which like Brown Thomas is owned by Canadian tycoon Galen Weston, ran the Brown Thomas group between 1992 and 2003.

His appointment is expected to reinvigorate the seven-store group, which has suffered as Irish shoppers rein in spending during the recession.

Last year, Blow – who was buying and merchandising director at Harrods before he joined Brown Thomas in 2007 – warned that profits for 2008 would be lower and that conditions in 2009 would be tough.

Stephen Sealey, formerly director of womenswear and accessories at Brown Thomas, has been appointed  managing director, reporting directly to Kelly.

A spokeswoman for Selfridges said: “Paul will continue his active leadership and hands-on approach in driving  the business.”

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