London’s premium department store Selfridges continues to excel as it recorded a 6-per-cent rise in sales to £1.85 billion, boosted by innovations and continued investment in its store portfolio.
Although its operating profit fell by £5 million to £170 million, this was due to in-store developments in both its retail and leisure propositions, which will aid future sales growth.
Investments in the shopping experience are key for premium retailers to retain shopper appeal, and innovations help drive visit frequency which otherwise may be low due to the high price points of products. Last year, Selfridges’ new menswear floor and 60,000sqft Accessories Hall were completed, helping the retailer to attract new shoppers as it introduced younger brands to keep up with current trends.
This willingness to adapt to changing shopping habits is also evidenced in Selfridges’ recognition of the growing importance of sustainability to consumers as it continues initiatives such as Bright New Things, which presents designers placing a focus on sustainability; and introduces others including Depop Space, a pop-up stocking vintage and second hand items from some of the app’s top sellers.
Selfridges has also continued to invest in the leisure elements of its store, capitalising upon consumer desire for more unique experiences, with the new menswear floor featuring a skate bowl where consumers can get lessons from professional skateboarders. Additionally, the retailer has opened a new restaurant which can be accessed after the shop has closed, and a luxurious three-screen cinema will open next month. This further extends Selfridges’ offering to consumers, increases its appeal versus its competitors and provides shoppers with additional reasons to visit stores.
Despite the importance of the in-store experience as a premium department store, Selfridges continues to acknowledge the importance of the online channel to broaden its shopper base and safeguard its future as spend shifts online by continuing to invest in its online proposition.
- Emily Salter is a retail analyst at GlobalData.