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Selfridges to refit womenswear floor

Selfridges is to radically revamp the designer womenswear area in its London Oxford Street store in a bid to replicate the phenomenal success of its Shoe Galleries.

The flagship department store, which spent in excess of £10m on the launch of the 35,000 sq ft Shoe Galleries which opened in October, will use the same architect, Jamie Fobert, to overhaul the remainder of the second floor, which carries women’s designer or bridge brands.

It is the first strategy to be implemented by newly promoted Sebastian Manes, who became buying director of womenswear, accessories and kidswear on February 1, following the promotion of Anne Pitcher to managing director.

Manes, who was previously director of accessories, jewellery, lingerie and swimwear, split the buying role vacated by Pitcher with David Walker-Smith, who became buying director of menswear, beauty and home and leisure.

Manes said Shoe Galleries, which was three years in development, had outperformed expectations, selling 10,000 pairs a week compared with a target of about 8,500.

Billed as the world’s largest footwear department, the Shoe Galleries features six galleries, 11 boutiques, more than 100,000 pairs of shoes and 4,400 styles from more than 150 brands including River Island and Christian Louboutin.

“We will change the entire second floor,” he said. “Women’s designerwear will change in the course of the next 12 months. Rather than do one [area] like the Shoe Galleries, we are going to change the entire floor.”

The second floor will continue to house brands including Céline, Miu Miu, Burberry, Jaeger and Joseph. Some changes will be evident within six months. Further details are yet to be confirmed.

Manes added that Selfridges planned to roll out elements of the Shoe Galleries to its regional stores in Birmingham and Manchester Exchange Square and Manchester Trafford Centre.

Manes joined Selfridges in January 2004 as senior buyer for accessories and worked on the high-profile refurbishment of Selfridges’ accessories department, Wonder Room, in 2007.

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