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Monday, April 30, 2012

Selfridges on Oxford Street London

Selfridges, otherwise known as Selfridges & Co., is a high end chain of department stores. Selfridges was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge who was born in 1858 in Ripon, Wisconsin.

Harry Gordon Selfridge

In 1879, Selfridge joined Field, Leiter and Company (which later became Marshall Field & Co.), and he worked for the famous Chicago retailer. After working his way up the company ladder, Selfridge married into the well-known Buckingham family.

Selfridge then amassed a fortune and used it to build his new London store. That flagship store (see below) on London's Oxford Street opened 15 March 1909 and is the second largest store in the UK (Harrods is the largest).

Selfridges, Oxford Street, London

Selfridge was an innovative marketer which led to his success. Selfridge tried to make shopping fun by, for example, displaying merchandise in a way that customers could examine it.

In addition, either Selfridge or Marshall Field is said to have coined the phrase "the customer is always right", which he used regularly in his advertising. Selfridge also put the highly profitable perfume counters on the ground floor. Selfridge's techniques have been copied by modern department stores all over the world.

Selfridges' stores are known for their architecture and are themselves tourist destinations. The Oxford Street store was designed by Daniel Burnham, who also created Marshall Field's main store in Chicago.

Visitors to London may also want to visit other nearby attractions such as Kensington Palace or St Paul's Cathedral.

400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB
Selfridges map

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