Arthur Ryan

ArthurRyanIn 1969, Dublin-born retailer Arthur Ryan opened the first Penneys store in Ireland on behalf of The Weston Family. Since then the business has gone on to develop 247 stores in eight countries, now employing in excess of 43,000 people. The discount clothing chain has been one of the high street’s top performers during the recession, with Ryan accredited as the driving force and inspiration behind the successful business model.

Speaking at the launch of the centre in DIT, Arthur Ryan indicated that while the retail sector acts as a barometer for how the economy is performing, for its future success the sector must understand and analyse developments in areas such as technology, procurement and sourcing, logistics, and marketing;

The pace of change in the retail sector is enormous and business is increasingly international. To stay competitive, there is a constant need to innovate and to anticipate trends. The DIT College of Business has always provided excellent support and expertise to the retail sector in Ireland and I believe this new centre, based in the School of Retail and Services Management, will become a hub for educational opportunities, research, and industry outreach programmes.”
Dr Arthur Ryan, Founder of Penneys/Primark

In 2011, Dublin Institute of Technology conferred an Honorary Doctorate on Arthur Ryan for his outstanding contribution to business and employment in Ireland and globally. In a citation introducing Arthur Ryan to the Assembly at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Mr. Paul O’Sullivan said;

Arthur Ryan has succeeded in becoming a business legend in his own lifetime. He has established a highly successful retail business that has withstood periods of recession and remained relevant during an economic boom. His leadership demonstrates that Ireland can produce local brands that not only can compete against international giants coming in to Ireland, but can compete with them on their terms in their home markets, becoming a household name far from home. Moving from direct management into his current role as Chairman, he has built a strong 21st century company by managing to ‘stay the same by continually adapting’. “
Mr Paul O’Sullivan, Director and Dean of the College of Business

View Arthur Ryan Tribute video for The Business and Finance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Business in 2011: