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Selfridges: An Iconic Department Store on Oxford Street

CEO Tinh Phung
Selfridges, Oxford Street Selfridges is a Grade II listed retail premises that has become an iconic landmark on Oxford Street in London. Designed by Daniel Burnham for Harry Gordon Selfridge and opened in 1909, this...

Selfridges, Oxford Street Selfridges, Oxford Street

Selfridges is a Grade II listed retail premises that has become an iconic landmark on Oxford Street in London. Designed by Daniel Burnham for Harry Gordon Selfridge and opened in 1909, this department store has stood the test of time. With its impressive 540,000 square feet of selling space, Selfridges is the second largest retail premises in the UK, second only to Harrods.

A Legacy of Innovation

In 1906, Harry Gordon Selfridge, a successful department store executive from Chicago, visited England and noticed that British retailers were not embracing the latest selling ideas from the United States. Inspired by this observation, Selfridge decided to invest £400,000 in building his own department store in the western end of Oxford Street. He acquired a series of Georgian architecture buildings and slowly transformed the area into the remarkable retail space we see today.

Architectural Brilliance

Selfridges was designed by American architect Daniel Burnham, known for his innovative department store designs across the United States. The building is an early example of steel frame construction in the UK, standing at five storeys high with three basement levels and a roof terrace. The exterior features hidden steel supporting columns behind Ionic columns, creating a visually uniform and classical Beaux-Arts appearance. The distinctive polychrome sculpture above the Oxford Street entrance is the work of British sculptor Gilbert Bayes.

Selfridges at Christmas, 1944 Selfridges at Christmas, 1944

Enduring Resilience

During its long history, Selfridges has faced its share of challenges. The store suffered damage during the London Blitz in World War II and has been the target of bombings carried out by the IRA. However, it has always emerged stronger, symbolizing the resilience of the British spirit. Today, Selfridges continues to be a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.

Unforgettable Windows

Selfridges is renowned for its captivating window displays, which have become as famous as the store itself. With a history of bold and artistic initiatives, the windows attract visitors from all over the world. From displaying signatures of famous people to showcasing iconic figures like Tony Blair and David Beckham, these windows have become an integral part of Selfridges' charm.

A Shopping Experience Like No Other

When you step into Selfridges, you enter a world of luxury and innovation. The store offers an extensive range of products, including the largest beauty department in the UK. Selfridges also boasts elegant restaurants, reading rooms, and special reception areas, designed to provide a memorable shopping experience. The stunning roof terrace offers breathtaking views of London, and the terraced gardens, cafes, and mini golf course provide a place to relax and unwind.

The Future of Selfridges

Selfridges has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs and desires of its customers. In recent years, the store has expanded its offerings and acquired neighboring properties for potential future developments. With an illustrious past and a commitment to innovation, Selfridges is poised to continue delighting shoppers for generations to come.


References:

[1] Wikipedia - Selfridges

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