As we approach Welltodo’s first Business of Wellness Summit on 4th June, we’re highlighting some of the global business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors involved in the event.
Shining the spotlight on brands that are shaping the wellness industry and influencing future trends, this week we’re focusing on iconic British department store, Selfridges.
Joining Welltodo at the BOW Summit, Scott Winston, Grocery Buyer at Selfridges, will be taking part in a dynamic panel discussion focusing on the big retail response to wellness.
Over 100 years old, Selfridges is the UK’s most revered department store. Its flagship location on London’s Oxford Street is one of the world’s busiest shopping destinations, attracting over 100,000 domestic and international visitors every day.
As a leader in experiential shopping, in recent years Selfridges has evolved into a ‘one stop’ wellness destination, tapping into the current demand for all things wellness-related.
Currently stocking over 150 brands and 5,000 wellness-led products and services, here we look at how Selfridges has established itself as a leader in wellness retail, encouraging consumers to buy into a lifestyle, where experience takes precedence over product.
1. Launched In 1906 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the department store soon began to flourish thanks to his revolutionary understanding of publicity and the theatre of retail. Hosting terraced gardens, cafes and a mini golf course, the Selfridges brand quickly built a reputation for delivering extraordinary customer experiences.
In 2003, W. Galen Weston and his family acquired the business for £598 million and have since fostered a shopping experience that promises to surprise, amaze and amuse its customers, paying particular attention to ‘lifestyle brands’ across categories including sportswear, food and beverages, and beauty.
2. Hosting pop-ups and events for brands including Nike and Stella McCartney for adidas, in the noughties Selfridges began to ramp up its focus on sportswear brands, eventually branching out into activewear with the launch of a brand new Sweaty Betty activewear concession in 2006.
Following the brand’s in-store success, in 2013 Sweaty Betty unveiled a new concept concession in Selfridges’ Denim Destination. The 1000 square foot space housed pieces exclusive to Selfridges, highlighting the department store’s growing commitment to the wellness space.
3. Launching ‘The Beauty Project’ in 2014, six weeks of pioneering talks, interactive debates and immersive beauty experiences, Selfridges made the strategic decision to challenge the definition of beauty, and investigate the convergence of beauty and wellbeing.
Unveiling Beauty and the Feast at Selfridges’ Food Hall, the store leveraged on-trend discussions focusing on beauty from within.
Sourcing the best brands and produce to provide customers with edible solutions to their beauty and wellbeing ambitions, the store began offering a huge selection of sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free foods, as well as dieticians on call.
4. Following the popularity of The Beauty Project, FaceGym, which launched as a pop-up during the successful campaign, took up permanent residency in Selfridges.
Backing the UK’s first and only gym studio for the face, Selfridges cemented itself as a platform for new wellness brands and pioneers in the rapidly growing industry.
Subsequently helping to launch Elle Macpherson’s Super Elixir, as well as hosting a six week pop-up with raw food brand, Tanya’s Cafe, the world-renowned store proved it had its finger on the pulse when it came to wellness.
5. In 2016 the Food Hall at Selfridges in London began capitalising on the clean-eating food trend.
Targeting health-conscious consumers looking for superfood toppings to add to a green shake, to gym-lovers shopping for an energy fix in the shape of raw baobab bites, Selfridges declared itself as the one stop shop for all things health.
Featuring brands including Hipster Health, Twig Tea and a wider selection of ‘free from’ products from Livia’s Bites and Nourish, the department store continued to position wellness as a core part of its strategy.
6. In April, Selfridges made its biggest commitment to wellness yet, with the launch of a 37,000 square ft. Body Studio.
Transforming the Ultra Lounge in its Oxford Street branch into a state-of-the-art fitness space for three months, boutique fitness brand Psycle took up residency, while the Hemsley Sisters opened their first ever Hemsley + Hemsley Café.
Featuring lingerie, swimwear, sportswear, lounge and sleepwear, the Body Studio aims to support consumers in their quest for health and wellbeing, while positioning Selfridges as a leader in wellness retail.
Providing consumers with a convenient, 360 experience, the Body Studio recognises that today’s consumers are searching for wellness-led experiential retail.