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Selfridges’ Galleries ‘will double’ womenswear sales

Selfridges’ new multi-million pound Womens Designer Galleries department at its London Oxford Street store should double the turnover it previously achieved from that floorspace in just a year.

The first phase in a three-part overhaul of the store’s womenswear, unveiled yesterday, cost in excess of £10m.

At 25,000 sq ft, it is more expensive per sq ft than the Shoe Galleries, launched last year, making it Selfridges’ most expensive development to date.

Buying director for womenswear Sebastian Manes told Drapers: “We’re aiming to double the turnover like-for-like on that space. With that level of investment it needs to have a return. We all looked at this target and felt comfortable with it.”

Manes described the development and brand mix as “avant garde” with “newness”. Eight of the 19 featured labels are new to the department.

Chanel, Céline, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Dries Van Noten will be among eight designer “boutiques” sitting alongside the main offer, which has doubled in size.

“We couldn’t accommodate everyone and had to make some decisions about whether those  brands could be covered by others,” said Manes.

The Womens Designer Galleries, designed by Jamie Fobert Architects, will help attract more tourists, said Manes: “This will put us on the map as an international destination.”

Phase two of the womenswear project will be completed by the end of this year. The next two phases will develop the occasionwear and businesswear categories. 

Selfridges recorded pre-tax profits of £101m for the year ended January 29, 2011, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

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