Selfridges is a chain of high end department stores in the United Kingdom. It was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge, an American. The flagship store in London's Oxford Street is the second largest shop in the UK (after Harrods).
The doors to what he described as “London’s newest shopping centre” opened
promptly at 9.00 am on Monday 15 March 1909.
A bugler stepped out onto the first floor balcony and blew a fanfare – the signal
for the ruched silk curtains covering the twenty-one plate glass windows to lift
revealing fashion scenes inspired by Fragonard and Watteau paintings.
Shopping should be fun
Selfridge was passionate about retailing and transforming the customers’ shopping experience, the store had comfortable seats to allow shoppers to take a breather. He also enticed shoppers in by putting on scientific exhibitions.
In 1909 the plane in which Louis Bleriot first flew from Calais to Dover (the world’s first international flight) was displayed in the store and in 1925 the store hosted the world’s first public demonstration of Television, by John Logie Baird.