Retail Celebrating Fashion Without Definition

Retail Celebrating Fashion Without Definition

Retail Celebrating Fashion Without Definition 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

UK-based department store Selfridges is well known for its progressive approach to retail. Even after a century in business this department store is anything but stale. The brand remains on the cutting edge of consumer trends and embraces a retail strategy with constant evolution.

Rather than being defined by departments and brands, Selfridges is designing around consumer themes. What were once traditional marketing campaigns are now becoming in-store retail concepts supported by interactive events, brand partnerships, and social platforms representing a broader definition of today’s consumer. Not to be confused with a mass-market approach, but one that is inclusive of how each of us uniquely defines fashion, beauty, and wellbeing. It’s a forward-thinking modus operandi to removing ideological norms and artificial consumer roles… proof that retailers can still appeal to consumers by shifting focus to personal values of self-expression, empowerment, and confidence.

This evolving retail model garnered attention in 2014 when Selfridges launched The Beauty Project, a thought-provoking exploration of beauty with exclusive products and partnerships with brands like Dove who shared a common goal of communicating real beauty. Next came, Agender, a retail concept created to break the boundaries of traditional fashion and allow consumers to self-identify in freeing way by selecting products based on color, fit, and style.

Now the retailer has opened the largest department store space to date, The Body Studio, 37,000 square feet of body confidence and positivity. Dedicated to all things body—activewear, lingerie, swimwear and loungewear—the concept gives permission to individuality by removing the barriers with over 130 brands offering a wide array of prices and sizes. In addition to apparel, the space incorporates other elements to cater to her lifestyle including a hair salon, beauty rooms, a VIP area, and a relaxing interior garden and café. Consumers will also get the chance to explore the future of fitness in Selfridges’ new workout space, Psycle for high-intensity cycling and Yung Club for a multi-sensory yoga experience.

“Looking at how customers are shopping with us and their growing interest in all things health and well-being, we knew there was an opportunity to create a new kind of destination for women that would have mind and body wellness at its core and that would offer a truly integrated and holistic fashion offer across services, product and accessories related to the body,” said Lydia Kang, head of fashion and trading in an interview with Luxury Daily.

Will this become the retail rule instead of the exception? We’ll have to wait to see. For now, we’re giving the brand recognition for acknowledging not all consumers are created equal. They’re looking for experiences that align with their values, and we believe retailers have the opportunity to utilize their physical space as a vehicle for conveying a larger message and creating a richer brand conversation.

Photo Credit: Selfridges | Oxford Street | Volt Cafe

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