Globus, the big Swiss department store chain, and its Navyboot and Schild subsidiaries are changing hands again, just a few months after the Austrian-based Signa Retail Group and Thailand’s Central Group joined forces to take over the Swiss group this past February from the previous owner, the Migros cooperative of supermarkets.

Globus’s chief executive, Thomas Herbert, and a couple of business partners, Silvia Bayard and Fredy Bayard, have agreed to acquire 31 out of the 48 department stores of the group with effect from Feb. 1, 2021. Herbert had been running the group’s 55 Schild fashion stores before being made CEO of the group five years ago.

The takeover includes all the former Schild and Herren Globus branches as well as all the Navyboot shoe stores, which will be operated under the name “Bayard Co Ltd” or “Navyboot” depending on their size, location and potential, with a continuity in business and positioning. The businesses covered by the takeover have a total staff of about 320.

For the remaining department stores, Signa and Central Group will pursue a repositioning strategy in a more upscale segment of the premium and luxury markets, integrating them into their European Luxury Department Store Group, which also includes KaDeWe, Oberpollinger and Alterhaus in Germany. They plan to invest more than 300 million Swiss francs - or the equivalent of €278 million - in the project over the next few years, according to a press release.

With a 128-year history, Globus runs an extensive network of department stores and specialist retail outlets in premium locations across Switzerland, with branches located in busy central areas of large and high-income Swiss cities or successful shopping centers. According to media reports, last year the group generated sales of 100 million Swiss francs.