Selfridges and the Evolution of Bricks-and-Mortar Retail

Beth White

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781474208789.035
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As economic turbulence continues to affect global markets, the retail sector has become increasingly volatile. Retailers in general have been slow to respond to changing consumer attitudes towards technology and innovation, with many reluctant to acknowledge the widening digital divide between consumer digital behaviors and expectations, and retailers’ ability to deliver the desired experiences.

The retail sector has been struggling with a changing balance of power ever since online shopping emerged as a strong competitor to bricks-and-mortar retail. Will retail department stores continue in their inexorable decline? Or will we see bricks-and-mortar retail stores evolve, finding new vehicles by which to survive?.

One such retailer that has been able to adapt quickly to the challenges facing the retail sector is Selfridges & Co. Limited. The brand has developed strong survival mechanisms staging itself as a market, warehouse, and museum in equal measures. Unlike other department stores who are struggling with dwindling footfall and declining in store sales, Selfridges are keeping up with consumer expectations, especially within their physical retail environments.

This case study examines the key factors influencing the UK retail sector and considers what the future holds for retail department stores.

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