Nique Marketing

Retail Marketing Tips from Mr Selfridge

Harry Gordon Selfridge, who founded the Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909, was a marketing genius with endless marketing tips, tricks and know-how. While we could probably talk to you about him all day, we thought it would be more practical to compile the top lessons from Mr Selfridge that you can take on board to better your marketing and wow your clientele!

At NIQUE Marketing, the TV show of choice is Mr Selfridge – the period drama centred on the American-born retailer and the growth of Selfridge’s department store on Oxford Street. Not only is it entertaining, it is definitely worth a watch for any marketer struggling to avoid conventional thinking or find strategies that work.


Image Courtesy of Entertainment i.e

Here are the key lessons we have learnt from Mr Selfridge.

Employees are your best marketing asset

They are your brand’s first line of defense in a world full of shopping options. You need to communicate your brand’s purpose and strategy early and often, driving a thriving internal culture of allegiance to the end goal. Enlist and empower your employees to become your chief brand ambassadors, just as Mr Selfridge did.

To win today’s savvy and selective shopper, the point of sale must become the point of inspiration

As technology and customer expectation continually and profoundly re-orientate retailing, the point of sale needs to mean more. It can no longer remain as a passive moment in time, but must expand to encompass a range of elevated and engaging brand moments that work together to reward shoppers, offering an emotional exchange that captures their custom.

Understand the competition

One episode focused on Frank Woolworth’s expansion into London. Harry Selfridge, whose store catered to an upper-end middle class clientele, worried that Woolworth’s low prices would steal some of his customers. Selfridge decided to use selective sales to pull price-sensitive customers into the store, where they would be enticed to buy higher-priced items.

The customer is always right

Harry Selfridge (along with Marshall Field and John Wanamaker) is credited with coining this phrase. It is often mistaken as meaning that you should give the customer what he or she wants. Rather it means that the customer should be treated fairly, that he or she has been heard if there is a complaint, or that the customer has rights

Selfridge’s department store continues to flourish today despite having struggled through two world wars, a great depression, the eventual demise of its noble namesake and the sale of his enterprise. It will be interesting to see how Selfridge’s and all retail stores globally perform in the increasingly competitive retail world. But one thing is for sure – marketers, strategists and merchants looking for innovative retail strategies should put down the business books, break out the popcorn, and enjoy retail 101 lessons while indulging in the hit show.

Sources: Inside Retail, Retail Customer Experience, Retail News and What is a Brand?

Interested in having NIQUE Marketing create your marketing plan? Please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].



 Image Courtesy of Dent’s Blog







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