BULLRING’S SELFRIDGES IN BIRMINGHAM SET FOR A NEW LOOK BY OSMAN YOUSEFZADA

The iconic Selfridges building at Bullring is set for major renovation work which will begin in the Autumn of this year and is expected to be completed ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

The store will remain open throughout and trade as normal.

During the work, the building will be wrapped in a striking patterned hoarding created by Birmingham born fashion designer and artist Osman Yousefzada. This will be the designer’s first piece of public art, which he has entitled The Dogtooth Flower.

The renovation work is being carried out by Hammerson, who owns and manages Bullring & Grand Central and will see the 15,000 silver disks removed and stored, while the building’s facade is replaced alongside installing a new layer of insulation.

Once this has taken place, the building will be re-painted in the original eye-catching Yves Klein Blue before the disks are re-attached. The building, whose radical design was inspired by a 1960s Paco Rabanne chainmail dress, has become one of Birmingham’s most distinctive contemporary landmarks and a tourist attraction in its own right. It will retain its architectural might once the work is complete and the wrap and scaffolding are removed.

The building’s design was created by architects Future Systems and was ground-breaking. Since its original construction, there have been major advances both in construction and building standards as well as insulation. The renovation works and insulation upgrade will deliver a 50% improvement in U-Values (the rate of transfer of heat through a building), making the building more energy efficient to run whilst improving its carbon footprint. This is consistent with Hammerson’s Net Positive strategy.

Yousefzada’s new wrap commission for the building was carried out in collaboration with internationally acclaimed Birmingham contemporary art gallery, Ikon. The distinctive dog-tooth design is in part inspired by a hand-drawn print from Osman’s archive and is reminiscent of the perennial architectural qualities of the designer’s fashion collections.

Since launching his eponymous label in 2008, Birmingham born and raised Osman Yousefzada has forged a niche in luxury womenswear that garnered him numerous awards. Selfridges was the first department store to sell the designer’s collections.

The works will comply with the Considerate Contractors scheme and will see around 120 workers onsite during the upgrade. A team of architects, cladding specialists and structural engineers will deliver the complex programme of works and restore the building.  

The Building contractor undertaking the works will strictly follow all of the Government’s guidelines with regards to Covid-19 throughout the project. During the construction period some footpaths, bus stops and coach parking will be suspended.

Conrad Bacon, Portfolio Director for Hammerson, said: “We are proud that the Bullring Selfridges building has gained icon status for its design and we want to ensure that it maintains its pride of place in both in Birmingham and the UK. The design and construction of the build means we have made the decision to undertake these upgrade works now to ensure the building’s long-term future whilst improving its environmental performance.”

Sam Watts, General Manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “We fully support the work Hammerson is about to undertake on our store to ensure its longevity and sustainability.

This work also gives us an opportunity to playfully transform the Birmingham skyline whilst championing the design talent of our city’s own Osman Yousefzada.”

Osman Yousefzada, designer, said: “I feel very lucky to have been selected from a shortlist of acclaimed international artists asked to design the scaffolding wrap. As an artist and designer, whose clothes have been stocked at Selfridges since my first ever collection, it is amazing to think that I will be dressing Selfridges itself. This will be my first piece of public art and to be able to do it on such a scale is truly exciting. I can’t wait to see it completed’. 

Notes to editors

Hammerson
Hammerson create vibrant, continually evolving spaces, in and around thriving European cities, with a focus on flagship retail destinations and Premium Outlets.  As of 30 June 2020, our portfolio of high-quality venues had a value of £7.7 billion and included 21 flagship destinations in thriving cities, and investments in premium outlet villages through our partnership with Value Retail and the VIA Outlets joint venture. Key retail venues include Bullring & Grand Central, Birmingham, Bicester Village, Oxfordshire, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin, and Les Terrasses du Port, Marseille.

Osman Yousefzada
Since launching his eponymous label in 2008, Osman Yousefzada has forged a niche in luxury womenswear with an intellectual approach to design, exploring the cross pollination with other creative disciplines, garnering numerous awards. The designer and artist works at the intersection of art and fashion, combining his multi-disciplinary design practice with a strong sense of social commentary. His work is shaped by a personal consideration of the contemporary fashion world and the industry’s inherent inequalities, juxtaposed with representations associated with the experience of immigration.

Yousefzada pursued formal training and education at Central Saint Martins, London; the University of Cambridge; and SOAS, London. He held his solo exhibition Being Somewhere Else at Ikon, Birmingham (2018); and has collaborated on projects with Cecilia Bengolea and Haroon Mirza as part of Volcano Extravaganza -Total Anastrophes at Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka/Stromboli (2018), as well as the group show Nightfall at Mendes Wood, Brussels (2019). He also participated in the Lahore Biennale A Rich Tapestry & A Believe is not a belief, because the truth is unbelievable (2020), Also at the Whitechapel Gallery London, he presented a film ‘Her dreams are bigger’ to co- incide with Radical Figures (2020), and has exhibited at the  Victoria & Albert  Museum, London; Design Museum, London, Cincinnati Art Museum and the Ringling Museum, Florida

A MESSAGE FROM ANNE PITCHER FOR TEAM MEMBERS

Dear team,  

Over recent months we have been through so much together. None of us have experienced anything quite like it and, sadly the challenges ahead remain very real.  

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced change and caused us to rethink so many aspects of our lives. How we work, shop and socialise is changing. Of course, our high streets were changing rapidly before Covid-19 arrived. As a creative business at the forefront of retail, we have a proud history of leading the way, however the speed and magnitude of what is happening right now and the impact on trading, means we must make some more fundamental changes to our organisation to stay ahead and realise a more sustainable future.  

Like many others, we are feeling the effects and acknowledge that recovery will be slow, with sales this year forecast to be significantly less than they were in 2019. It will, without doubt, be the toughest year we have experienced in our recent history.  

As you would expect at such a critical time, we have been carefully examining every aspect of our business; our structures, our costs, our ways of working – from top to bottom, to ensure we are fit for purpose and the future. This also means that we are strengthening areas of our business that have become even more important to our customers since the pandemic, such as digital, sustainability and experiences.  

As a family business, the hardest decisions are the ones that affect our people which is why it pains me to share news today of the toughest decision we have ever had to take that we will, very regrettably, need to make a 14% net reduction in our overall headcount, approximately 450 roles. 

As always and, as we have endeavoured to do at every step of the Covid-19 crisis, we will use our Values to help guide us through these changes and the difficult days ahead. We will lead with care and consideration, we will share our knowledge with responsibility and respect and, it is why we will do everything possible to mitigate the number of redundancies we propose to make.

The coming weeks will be difficult for everyone but, as the Selfridges community has shown time and time again over these past few months, I know we will all do our very best to support each other.

Thank you for this and for your strength and professionalism in response to what continues to be one of the most challenging situations of our time. It is both hugely appreciated and admired.


With kindest regards, 
 
Anne  

Anne Pitcher 
Selfridges Group Managing Director 

SELFRIDGES REOPENS ITS STORES

On 15th June, Selfridges will reopen its four UK stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester, warmly welcoming visitors and Selfridges team members safely back to store with extra health and safety precautions in place throughout – further details can be found at selfridges.com.

Of particular note, Selfridges will open its fitting rooms, as well as its customer toilets, and carparking will be available adjacent to all of its stores. Selfridges will have hosts on hand throughout each department to direct and assist customers and, to make a visit to store as easy as possible. Customers can also download the Selfridges app and use the store guide to plan their visit ahead of coming to store.

Meave Wall, Stores Director of Selfridges, said of the reopening:

“We are delighted that our doors are open once again to welcome our teams and our customers. Innovation and creativity continues to be a priority for Selfridges and, even with measures in place to keep us all safe, we are pulling out all stops to inspire our customers in store.”

As the stores reopen, the Selfridges doormen will be back to warmly welcome customers to the Oxford Street store and local street performers will entertain customers as they enter the store, commissioned in partnership with the Mayor of London, on opening day. Selfridges will be alive with the sound of DJ music throughout and, with keen social distancing measures in place, new services will help bring the extraordinary world of Selfridges to customers.

The Selfridges London store opening will also be accompanied by the launch of a number of exclusives, including the smiley collection from Loewe, while the Body Studio will offer Spanx activewear for the first time. Menswear Designer Street will play host to the global exclusive Kenzo x Vans collection with a takeover of The Bowl, Selfridges one-of-a-kind skate destination. The London Foodhall also launches Parisian eatery Cojean, offering healthy, seasonal food-to-go.

Across the stores Selfridges will be open to welcome customers back with its well-known service and brand partners:

  • To help customers in store, services will include VIP concierge, styling advice with experts, Elfridges advisors to help with gifting across all departments, and Click & Collect will be available. Shopping by appointment will be introduced, with slots available outside of regular trading hours and fast-track access to store.
  • Selfridges will launch a seamless and safe at home shopping through bookable virtual appointments with Selfridges stylists, gifting specialists through Elfridges at home and beauty concierge service.
  • In store London restaurants EL&N, Dolly’s, Tonkotsu and Aubaine will offer takeaway options, and sweets and treats to go will be available from milk-and-cookie connoisseurs Blondies Kitchen and artisan ice-cream makers Snowflake.
  • Remaining services and restaurants will be back up and running when Government guidelines allow. In the meantime, customers will be able to shop across the full range of departments at Selfridges – fashion, accessories, beauty, toys, technology, gifting, food and wine, lifestyle and homeware.
  • Selfridges will also offer a range of store-to-home delivery options for vulnerable and self-isolating customers and, NHS and key workers will have priority access to all stores as they do for the London Foodhall.

Selfridges has extended its community initiative #kindnesschallenge to its’ world-famous window displays which have been taken over by honest and heartfelt Thank you notes from Selfridges team members celebrating the help, support and acts of kindness shown to them or to their local community throughout this period.

Selfridges London will operate between 11am and 7pm Monday to Saturday and 11.30am to 6pm on Sunday.

Selfridges Manchester Trafford will operate between 10am and 7pm Monday to Saturday and 11.30am to 6pm on Sunday.

Selfridges Manchester Exchange and Selfridges Birmingham will operate between 11am and 7pm Monday to Saturday and 11.00am to 5.30pm on Sunday.

Notes to Editors:

  • The health, safety and wellbeing of customers and teams is Selfridges’ priority, and precautions have been taken to help minimise the risk of coronavirus, in line with guidance from PHE and relevant authorities.
  • Selfridges team members have been supported with the transition back to store with a welcome back, that includes e-training and guidance on health and safety.
  • Selfridges has also collaborated with British designer Christopher Raeburn to design sustainable, reusable face coverings, providing each team member with a kit of 3 responsibly made, high protection level face coverings that may be worn during work if they like. Produced by Bags of Ethics, a positive label created to unite consumers, businesses and makers across three key pillars – people, planet and product.
  • To assist people in their journey to store, Selfridges has reviewed all aspects of its operations in line with guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England, and is working with local authority partners in each region to ensure that visitors are kept safe not just while inside Selfridges stores, but also in the communities in which they operate;  including New West End Company in London and Retail BID in Birmingham and Manchester.
  • All floors and departments will reopen in its London location, Selfridges Birmingham in the Bullring shopping centre and Selfridges’ two Manchester stores in the Trafford Centre and Exchange Square. The stores will offer the Selfridges shopping experience visitors have come to expect and love whether they are looking to treat themselves or others, even under such extraordinary circumstances.
  • Stringent social distancing and safety measures in place include:
    • 1 customer per 20m2 of retail space
    • A one-way system to enter and exit our stores
    • Teams and customers will always be asked to follow social distancing guidelines of 2 metres distance from the next individual
    • All back of house and office areas will also follow social distancing guidelines of 2 metres
    • Where social distancing cannot be maintained, we will install physical barriers to protect our customers and teams, with perspex screens installed at till points and counters wherever appropriate
    • Face coverings have been made available to all team members and the wearing of a covering is encouraged.
    • Floor markings and signage installed across all stores and locations to support social distancing of 2 metres, including queues system to enter Selfridges stores
    • A limit of 1 person or 1 household per lift, with customers encouraged to use the stairs or escalators where possible
    • Customers will be encouraged to visit stores alone or only with those who need to be with them, in household groups of up to four people. We will allow up one person per 20sqm within our stores
    • Management of fitting rooms to ensure each fitting room is sanitised by steaming and antibacterial cleaning after each customer use. Items that are touched, tried on in our fitting rooms or returned instore will be quarantined for 48 hours (for clothing and fabric items) or cleaned with sanitising spray (for shoes and accessories, plus any other non-clothing goods) before being returned to the shop floor.
    • Hand sanitiser stations installed throughout all stores for customer and team use
  • Selfridges will enable its team members to transition safely into its stores and offices with their wellbeing as a priority by introducing:
    • Temperature scanning on arrival as an additional health and safety measure
    • Testing provided to Selfridges team members who display symptoms as well as any and all team members they have been in recent contact with should the individual test positive
    • Hand sanitiser stations installed throughout all stores and back of house areas
    • Staggered start and finishing times to support off-peak travel
    • Teams will be encouraged to walk or cycle to work where possible
    • Frequent deep cleaning on an ongoing basis
  • Selfridges is inviting followers on social media to take a moment out of their day and the 24-hour news feeds to contribute to a ‘good deed feed’ – the Selfridges #kindnesschallenge. As we are required to build distance between us to safeguard our physical health and wellbeing, we owe it to ourselves and each other to bridge this gap, using digital as a force for good. The challenge is about posting actions that we are taking to help ourselves and others, in a safe and responsible way. Visit @theofficialselfridges Instagram account to take part in the latest challenge.
  • The recent closure due to the lockdown ordered by the British government was the London store’s first and only closure since World War 2, when the store was last hit by a bomb in April 1941 during the Blitz and had to close for a day for repairs.

SELFRIDGES LONDON UNVEILS NEW THANK YOU TRIBUTE WINDOW DISPLAY

Selfridges has unveiled its new Thank You window display at its flagship Oxford Street store, designed by team members from across the UK, in celebration of the incredible work done by those who have kept the country going during the coronavirus pandemic.

The unveiling comes as Selfridges prepares to reopen its stores in London, Manchester, and Birmingham on Monday 15th June and underpins the belief the store has that empathy, kindness and togetherness should be expressed to those who have helped during the lockdown.  Made up of hundreds of unique posters inspired by stories on a national and local level, the creation of the window displays brings the Selfridges teams together to give thanks to those who have helped people and communities around the country at this difficult time.

To mark the reopening of its stores, Selfridges offered team members the opportunity to have their own messages of thanks displayed across its world-famous windows in London, Manchester and Birmingham as well as its digital channels. Dedicated to friends, families, colleagues, neighbours, NHS and key workers, hard-working delivery drivers, tireless check-out staff and kind strangers, these posters show a heartfelt note of appreciation from all at Selfridges.

Each poster design creates a patchwork quilt pattern, covering the store with a range of photography, illustration, graphics, collage and painted designs. The rainbow of colours used also echoes the Thank You NHS rainbows which have decorated the streets throughout the pandemic. The window displays are made from FSC certified paper and PVC free vinyl, which is Phthalate free, Chlorine free and has a solvent free adhesive. The collection and recycling of all products after use will be managed by LAWMENS Waste Management to ensure of their safe and environmentally friendly disposal.

The windows are an extension of the Selfridges #KindnessChallenge, a series of charitable initiatives aimed to support the communities in which Selfridges operates its stores. As part of the #kindnesschallenge, Selfridges invites its followers on social media to take a moment out of their day and the 24-hour news feeds to contribute to a ‘good deed feed’.  The challenge celebrates actions that people are taking to help themselves and others in a safe and responsible way.

Selfridges will reopen its four UK stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester on 15th June, warmly welcoming visitors and Selfridges team members safely back to store with extra health and safety precautions in place throughout.

SELFRIDGES STAGES A COMEDY TELETHON ON INSTAGRAM IN AID OF SHOUT

On Friday 15 May, Selfridges is to stage a six-hour long comedy telethon (LOL-ATHON) on its Instagram account to entertain its million-plus followers.

This unique charity format, curated in collaboration with East Creative and Sink The Pink co-founder Glyn Fussell, is a first for Selfridges. The LOL-ATHON, to be run from 6pm to 12am, will feature over 15 eclectic acts – including stand-up comedy, drag and singing – who will perform hilarious live sets throughout the evening. The event will culminate in a special appearance by Mel C who will be closing the proceedings with a live DJ set of upbeat tunes and anthemic crowd-pleasers.

Throughout the Selfridges LOL-ATHON viewers will be invited to donate to the mental health charity SHOUT 85258 which aims to provide immediate support for anyone struggling with mental health issues. SHOUT 85258 offers the UK’s first 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. The donations are facilitated by an innovative and secure donate button which can be activated live as the viewers watch the show on Instagram @theofficialselfridges. The live button is a new feature on Instagram.

The Selfridges LOL-A-THON line-up features celebrities from the comedy, club and cabaret scenes in London and beyond such as Jonny Woo, Rich Wilson, Jayde Adams, Rosie Jones, Bourgeois and Maurice, Jonbenet Blonde as Wendy Minger, Grace Campbell and Crystal Rasmussen and many more.

Selfridges has been actively engaging with its communities since the closure of its brick and mortar stores and has been using its digital platforms as a force for good, through an umbrella campaign called the Kindness Challenge. Through the campaign, rolled out in collaboration with, and to the benefit of, several charity partners, food was donated, good deeds were done, and comforting gifts were given to deserving NHS staff and other key workers.  The LOL-ATHON, through its fundraising in aid of SHOUT, is the latest iteration of the Selfridges Kindness Challenge.

Editor’s Notes

Notes to Editors:

  • The Selfridges LOL-A-THON takes place on Friday, 15 May – from 6pm to 12am
  • The event is taking place live exclusively on @theofficialselfridges
  • Donations are done directly from the innovative donate button on @theofficalselfridges
  • 100% of all money donated goes to SHOUT (https://www.giveusashout.org/). SHOUT is the UK’s first 24/7 text service (number 85258), free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Shout is powered by a team of volunteers, who are at the heart of the service. Taking people from crisis to calm every single day.
  • Started in 2008, Sink The Pink has grown from humble beginnings at Bethnal Green working mens club to be one of the biggest LGBTQ nights in the world, selling out venues such as the

Brixton Academy, Roundhouse and Troxy. Sink The Pink are part of the East Creative family with Mighty Hoopla, Savage and more.            

SELFRIDGES TRAFFORD COMPLETES STUNNING NEW ACCESSORIES HALL

Selfridges Trafford unveiled its new Accessories Hall after a six month redevelopment project.

Complete with 170 brands, 440 styles of handbag and 225 small leather goods the hall has increased by 30% in size making it one of the most impressive Accessories spaces in the North West.

Today also marks the launch of two new services to the Accessories Hall. Manchester’s much loved florist, Frog, will now call Selfridges home with the opening of their new concession in the space. Famous for their unique and inspiring designs, Frog are epitomised by a fresh and fun approach to floristry, revolutionising the floriculture industry in the City. In store, their team of passionate florists will be on hand to satisfy the curiosity of shoppers, sharing their in depth knowledge along with a range of beautiful flowers, plants and gifts available to take home. Frog will also be running a number of intimate workshops in-store.

Astrid & Miyu, the London-based jewellery brand which has become home of the curated ear, is to open its first permanent space outside of London within the Selfridges Trafford Accessories Hall. The space will feature a selection of their bestselling jewellery styles, including dainty-yet-edgy earrings, necklaces, rings and cuffs. The space will also include Astrid & Miyu’s hugely popular piercing service that will be open 7 days per week.

These new services, along with the recently opened San Carlo Champagne Bar and The Restory, the luxury goods restoration service, are nestled amongst the most extensive collection of designer and contemporary accessories brands.  Classics such as Mulberry and YSL sit alongside famous names including an extensive collection of Christian Louboutin accessories. From the boutiques of Gucci and Prada to carefully curated collections from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Staud and Yuzefi, the hall in total now boasts over 150 brands.

For more information on the brands and events taking place within the Accessories Hall please visit www.selfridges.com