The founder and chairman of Irish retail chain Primark, Arthur Ryan, died on Monday following a short illness, according to BBC News. He was 83 years old.

Many considered Ryan to be a “true pioneer” of the retail world. Ryan founded the iconic retail store, initially known as Penneys, in 1969 in Dublin, Ireland — which was also his hometown. Since then, Primark has expanded to over 350 stores in 11 countries across Europe and the United States.

As the founder, Ryan also served the company as its chief executive officer for 40 years before stepping away from the day-to-day rhythm of the brand to become a chairman instead. However, while he may have stepped away from the daily work as chief executive officer, BBC reports that he continued to make regular visits to stores and walk the shop floors.

With the successful rate of expected sales and profit of Primark, Ryan leaves a legacy known as “one of the great giants of retailing.”

 

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