In a month with little to celebrate and much to lament about, including high inflation, rising interest rates, and the most punitive public sector strikes in 30 years, Selfridges defies gravity and takes a philosophical approach to the new year.
Amid all the internal turmoil, Selfridges is gearing up, accelerating its green agenda and experiential retail commitment. It also promises a year of positive intentions, color therapy, and a call to action on the environmental front.
And sales? With all the good vibes buzzing in stores, sales should naturally follow.
Selfridges’ new year kicks off on Monday with the opening of storefronts in London, Manchester and Birmingham, England. They will be filled with a series of colorful, original illustrations around this year’s theme, Selfridges Celebrates.
Selfridges says she wants to cater to celebrations of all kinds and “makes life’s little achievements feel special and exciting.” It represents a response to the present and a perspective on how we want to see the trajectory of the next 12 months.”
As part of this effort, the store asked illustrators such as Angela Kirkwood, Paulina Almira, Brindha Kumar and Lena Yokoyama to create two-dimensional works that will be displayed in window displays and stores throughout the year.
Selfridges wants old-school, 2D illustrations to be a point of contrast and a celebration of “form and colour,” “in a world that celebrates the hyper-connected and multi-sensory.”
The only purpose of the store this year is not to give morale. Selfridges also invites its customers to take action and connect with their sustainability efforts.
Andrew Keith, managing director of Selfridges, said the store is “committed to finding solutions to retail innovation with a constantly creative approach.” The scale of our goals cannot be underestimated, but we are inspired by what awaits us and how we bring it to life for our customers.”
As reported last September, Selfridges has accelerated its net zero carbon emissions target by pulling its deadline from 2050 to 2040 as a pledge to the Climate Commitment, a cross-industry group of companies committed to achieving net zero 10 years before Paris. Contract.
As part of this commitment, the retailer has also set a new goal of ensuring that at least 45 percent of its transactions (excluding food, restaurant and household goods) come from recycled products or cyclical services such as resale, rental, refill or repair.
He has also founded “Reselfridges,” a portfolio of circular initiatives that he hopes will eventually become the backbone of the business.
As part of its commitment to the circular economy, the store plans to launch a handbag subscription service this year and expand its existing children’s clothing rentals. Sizes now range from six months to 16 years old, and clothing including casual and street wear and ski wear will be available towards the end of 2023.
For Christmas 2022, Reselfridges watches and jewelry have moved from an online-only service to the London floor and landed at The Corner Shop on Oxford Street. The average selling price was £2,500 and Omega Seamasters was among the bestsellers.
This year Selfridges is also expanding its partnership with luxury vintage clothing store OOTO London, which will feature different marquee designers over the next 12 months.
It currently showcases and sells “museum quality” pieces designed by Gianni and Donatella Versace from 1987 to 2003. From mid-January, the focus will shift to Miuccia Prada’s first collections for the brand, and from Gucci to Tom Ford, who will be in the limelight in March.
To coincide with the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” Selfridges and OOTO London will present an embodiment of the late designer’s work over the decades and in fashion houses.
Selfridges is also getting new labels that add green value to its collections.
These include Starlit, a Los Angeles-based label known for its sustainable fabrics, and Conner Ives, who has made a name for himself turning piano shawls into halter tops or vintage tees into casual wear.
It will also stock Maria McManus, a brand that encourages customers to buy less and more responsibly, in a phrase that the late Vivienne Westwood often repeated.
Selfridges’ green campaign began under the ownership of the Weston family, and new owners Central Group and Signa Holding, which bought Selfridges for £4 billion last year, are 100 percent behind the strategy.
As reported last September, the partners’ plan is to make significant changes to the business, not to the overall strategy, operations or personality of the store that has become synonymous with British luxury, creativity and green values.
Selfridges may be the largest group in the partners’ joint portfolio, which includes 22 luxury stores such as KaDeWe in Germany and Globus in Switzerland, but the plan is to treat it like the rest of the properties and the pride of each city. where the stores are located.
“We have iconic destinations in every city we operate in, and in order to grow we must give people new reasons to visit us and new experiences in our store. Stefano Della Valle, new CEO of Selfridges and head of the luxury department store group Central and Signa in Europe, said. “Reinventing retail is our vision for the future, not just for Selfridges but for all of our stores.”
Della Valle and Ernst-Dieter Berninghaus, co-chairman of Selfridges Group and chairman of Signa, said initial investments in Selfridges will initially focus on dining and beauty salons and omnichannel offering.
The plan is to have a food market in addition to a number of restaurants. While Selfridges already has a food market and dining options, these are not the go-to destinations for shoppers. By contrast, the dining hall at KaDeWe Berlin occupies the entire floor and houses 27 restaurants.
The new owners also plan to renovate the Old Selfridges Hotel next to London’s Oxford Street store. Although used for fashion shows and other events, the space has not functioned as a hotel for years.
The two partners said they want the new hotel area to improve the surrounding neighborhood on Oxford Street and serve the community for the next 20 to 30 years. Central and Signa are long-term thinkers and always see their stores and properties as part of the fabric of the city.
Describing the Selfridges acquisition as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, Berninghaus said there were many potential plans being discussed.
“We don’t think of it as a single hotel concept or a single restaurant concept, but as a unified concept that brings tourists and locals together. We think of it as a destination that makes the entire neighborhood more attractive.”
The new owners are optimistic about their prospects in the UK and London, despite the country’s macroeconomic challenges and the decline in international tourism post-Brexit and COVID-19.
Berninghaus said that during the negotiations to buy Selfridges, they considered the difficulties posed by Brexit for trade with Europe. They also took into account the difficult economic situation countries are facing after COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and rising inflation.
“London has been and will remain one of the most attractive cities in the world for centuries. Berninghaus said Oxford Street is one of the most exciting places in the world and tourists will return. “We’re here for the long term and we’re super optimistic for this market in the long term.”