5 facts about… Selfridges

The hit ITV drama based following the larger-than-life Harry Selfridge has been going from strength to strength


From celebrating the five-year anniversary of his Oxford Street department store to the declaration of war, Mr Selfridge has been entertaining audiences every Sunday evening.


But how much do you know about the real Selfridges, and its founder, Harry Gordon Selfridge?

1) Selfridge & Co. opened its doors on 15 March 1909. To make way for his grand building, Mr Selfridge had demolished a number of properties lining the ‘dead end’ of Oxford Street

2) The store was intended to transform shopping into an adventure, and Mr Selfridge made sure he was always on trend. For example, when Louis Blériot became the first aviator to fly over water, his plane was put on display in Selfridges for four days

3) Harry Selfridge is believed to have coined the phrase: “The customer is always right”

4) In 1927, Selfridges bought stores in Sheffield and Leeds, and by 1929 was the largest retail group in Europe


5) Less than a decade later, Mr Selfridge’s gambling habit and love of expensive women cost him most of his personal fortune. He was forced to retire in October 1939, and died seven years later