In a bid to replicate the store’s successful shoe galleries floor, designer boutiques featuring products exclusive to Selfridges are at the heart of the gallery-style shopping experience.
This time it’s personal
The unique selling point of the new women’s designer floor area is customer personalization, according to buying director of womenswear Sebastian Manes, who says customers can choose from exclusive pieces to pre-order and customise with the help of the store’s on-site tailors. What sets this designer offer apart from the competition is the promise of exclusivity and a real focus on bespoke, data-driven customer service. Customers can use the store’s personal shopping department to log their size and style preferences, and to curate highly personalised seasonal wardrobes.
Eight dedicated boutiques representing Chanel, Prada, Lanvin, Céline, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Givenchy and Dries Van Noten are given an avant-garde edge and combined with the main womenswear department offer featuring Haider Ackermann, Rick Owens, Maison Martin Margiela, Comme Des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, Ann Demeulemeester and Gareth Pugh.
Inspiration set in stone
Designed by Jamie Fobert Architects, the department’s interior features a combination of 10 types of marble to reflect historically creative eras. ‘I was greatly inspired by the story of stone – how marble has been used since the time of Trajan’s Column in Ancient Rome, to Michelangelo’s David and Marble Arch in London,’ says architect Jamie Fobert.
Technology-enhanced shopping decisions
Selfridges has incorporated technology into the central fitting rooms to enable customers to interact with people on social networks while in decision mode. Mirrors feature built-in cameras that enable customers to capture an image or short video of themselves from three angles. These images can then be viewed immediately to compare outfits or customers can post them to social media sites for feedback while still in the changing room.
The department also features a digital art gallery wall, and to coincide with the launch, Selfridges held a 10-day installation called The Film Project, curated by fashion film editor Emma Reeves. The retailer commissioned eight designers to create short films for the project, each working with their chosen director.
Film highlights include Ann Demeulemeester’s In the Desert Sun, and Rick Owens’ D’Amore Sill’Ali Rosee, directed by ShowStudio star Ruth Hogben. Film set designer Simon Costin crafted The Film Project’s interactive installation in which visitors viewed the films in dedicated pods for an ambient, theatrical fantasy experience. The films can be seen at: selfridges.com/thefilmproject and at Selfridges until 25 March.
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Selfridges has gone to town on customer service with its new technology-meets-experience womenswear galleries. The combination of a bespoke tailoring service and exclusive designer product ranges is a well-matched way of going the extra mile for the store’s highly informed fashionista clientele. And the engaging, technology-rich changing rooms are a clear sign of a retailer responding to, and keeping up with, its digitally savvy customer base. The new concept is a good example of how retailers are increasingly using technology to enhance the shopping experience. Read our Tomorrow Store macrotrend for more insights.