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Selfridges to overhaul women's Superbrands

London department store Selfridges will revamp its womenswear Superbrands room within the next 18 months as it continues to innovate and differentiate itself from its rivals.

The Superbrands area opened in 2003 and houses some of Selfridges' most exclusive womenswear and menswear brands, including Marni, Stella McCartney and Chloe.

Selfridges chief executive Paul Kelly said: "It's been several years now since Superbrands arrived. It has been great for the store, but the time has come to move it forward to keep it in line with what we are doing elsewhere."

Kelly told Drapers that the retailer's Oxford Street store was trading better than ever, and was recording double-digit sales increases for the year so far. He added that the capital was experiencing a retail renaissance and that Selfridges was reaping the benefits.

He said: "London is doing well and we are getting help from that, but if we were only doing as well as everybody else we would not be happy. However, we are doing better." Selfridges posted sales of £538 million last year.

Selfridges has just finished revamping the menswear floor at the Oxford Street store. The final stages of the refurbishment involved moving men's shirts, ties and accessories from the ground floor to join the rest of the menswear offer upstairs.

This will kick-start the retailer's next major project, involving a 25,000 sq ft Wonder Room that will take up a huge chunk of the ground floor.

The room will open in the autumn to house a huge watches and jewellery section, including the first Chanel fine jewellery shop outside of the brand's own stores, plus areas for Tiffany's, Bulgari and Hermes.

The £10m investment will also feature a bar and cigar area.

The Wonder Room will provide an extra 3,000 sq ft of space for women's accessories and handbags. This will enable Selfridges to dedicate larger areas to some of its key labels and will allow the retailer to introduce new brands.

- Selfridges replaced all its plastic carrier bags with paper bags at its Oxford Street flagship this week.

As well as being an environmental move, Kelly said the strategy was more in line with the retailer's upmarket image.

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