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Selfridges, Business As Usual


"Selfridges, business as usual"


Named after its founder, Harry Gordon Selfridge, Selfridge & Co opened its doors on Oxford Street on 15 March 1909. With his innate understanding of the value of publicity, Harry Gordon masterminded the elaborate opening advertising campaigns. The crush was so large it took thirty police officers to hold back the crowds. Breaking new ground in his newly adopted city, Harry Selfridge took to using a new name: Gordon. To his staff however, he was always The Chief.

Nothing stood still at Selfridges where the Chief said: 'I am prepared to sell anything from an aeroplane to a cigar'. In 1910 he opened a beauty department inside the ground floor entrance area - a move which altered the shape of retail space from that moment onward.

In making huge efforts to give special service to the public at the outbreak of war in 1914, it was Harry Gordon who said the phrase the store made famous: 'business as usual'.

Harry Gordon Selfridge's spirit of innovation and creativity has been honoured under the steer of W. Galen Weston and his family since 2003. The only store to be twice awarded the accolade of the Best Department Store in the World, Selfridges today is a shopping experience that builds upon Harry's principals of creativity, wit and impeccable customer service.

Today more than 350,000 people visit the store every week and nearly 20 million every year.

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