Designing destinations with attitude



Office: London

Staying authentic while innovating the customer experience. 

One of the most significant cultural and commercial trends we’ve seen in living history is the decline of the high street. In this incredibly competitive and disrupted retail environment, only the most distinctive retailers are surviving. Often it’s the tradition or history of a brand that connects it to customers and a brands ability to adapt and change over time that keeps the consumer coming back.

Selfridges is one such retailer, a store that has dramatically evolved its experience, while staying true to its heritage, to stay ahead of customer expectation as it shifts.

The original Mr Selfridge was an impresario and his shop a theatre. In 1909, shortly after the store opened, he hung in the atrium the plane of French aviator Louis Blériot, the first person to fly over the English Channel, attracting over 150,000 visitors to the store.

Yet over the years the magic waned and ownership changed. At the end of the ‘90’s, In initial stages of reinvention Selfridges, with Interbrand, put the name back at the centre of the brand, conjoined with the boldly uplifting yellow. In-store, the lead actors were the brands it stocked rather than the brand itself. Until in 2006 the long term vision and investment from the Weston family reignited the unadulterated showmanship of the store design itself.

The iconic yellow remained at the heart of the brand yet now the Selfridges store became the stage with a mindset and opinion that delivered newness, theatre, event, brand and service in abundance; building a new, reciprocal and surprising relationship with the customer – an approach which has led to their global recognition as the world’s best department store.

With our retail consultancy HMKM, and across multiple projects, we have helped one of the world’s first genuinely iconic brands to reinstate its unassailability.

Denim Studio:  Selfridges wanted a one-of-a-kind experience to address the specific needs of women looking for the perfect denim fit and across all price points. We partnered to develop the Denim Studio to capitalize on the strength of the denim business and bring glamour, entertainment, excitement and authority to this dynamic category. We blended physical, digital and human elements to give the shopper a seamless experience – denim any way you want it. The Fit Studio and digital Jeanius bar were the core of the experience.  

Selfridges Champagne and Oyster Bar

Creating a Contemporary Backdrop for Champagne and Oyster Bar:  Designed to sit within a new Selfridges Food Hall environment, the Champagne & Oyster Bar delivers a unique and luxurious Caviar House experience. The Oyster Bar boasts rich materials palette sumptuous teal green tiling, custom espresso leather seating, ship’s lighting, antique mirror and polished brass detailing. Operationally the 45m2 site consists of a self-contained food storage and preparation area serving a bar with 19 covers.

Manchester Trafford Center:  As part of a multi-milion pound investment of the Manchester Trafford store, our latest project with Selfridges redefines ‘Beauty’. Double-sided digital brand totems, offer a canvas for brand messaging and the ability to present constant newness and exclusives inspiring the customer to discover both individual brands and the wider product offer available. The all new expansive Beauty Workshop is a Selfridges curated edit of brands, with practice and play areas throughout offering plentiful space for new, exciting & exclusive brands across six key categories; Skincare, Hair, Colour, Services, Travel & Men’s Grooming. Key to the customer-first strategy is the ‘Beauty Insiders’ hub located at centre of the Hall. This is a unique centralised beauty concierge service, where customers can book treatments centrally across all brands as well as provide a consultation area and promo stage to flex for product launches and Beauty Masterclasses. The Fragrance area completes the Beauty Hall; the entire range of testers is displayed on illuminated tiers arranged on two large central islands as well as perimeter back bars with glass fronted stock cabinets underneath.

Selfridges beauty hall with digital totems

Selfridges. The wonder emporium.