Selfridges launches online storeMonday, 29 March 2010
Despite the success of high profile online retailers, like Net-a-Porter or even contemporaries Harvey Nichols and Harrods, Selfridges was the last to enter the online market. Many high street retailers have been slow to embrace the internet and according to the Office for National Statistics just 3.9 per cent of retail sales took place online last year.
Selfridges online offer is relatively modest stocking just 10,000 items, compared with the more than 100,000 that are available in its physical shops.
However, the company is confident that its website is better than rivals' sites. A spokesman said: "The site is head and shoulders above what our competitor department stores currently offer in terms of interaction, product selection and services. So, this is a net gain for customers everywhere in the UK, especially those who were not able to shop easily from Selfridges in the past."
The company has just four department stores, one in London, one in Birmingham and two in Manchester, but it promises that it will – for a price – deliver to anywhere in Britain.
Using couriers, it will charge between £4.95 for standard delivery and £15 for same day delivery within London.
Amy Shields, news editor at the fashion industry magazine Drapers, said: "They were very slow to market, but it's difficult to get a fashion website right. If you are selling designer clothes people usually want to see and feel them, but I think Selfridges has done a good job. The website captures some of the fun and theatre that the Selfridges stores have."
Though it is stocking a relatively small number of items, they do give a taste of the full range on offer in the stores, with the cheapest item a £4.95 giant Hershey chocolate bar, and the most expensive a £7,560 silver bracelet by designer Vincente Gracia, featuring fairy tale animals heads in gold, silver and copper.
Source: Sunday Telegraph