Retail Insider event with Simon Forster, former MD at Selfridge’s

Retail Insider held its latest event with guest speaker Simon Forster, former MD of Selfridge’s, at Hedonism Wines in London’s Mayfair followed by a tutored tasting of wines.

The event sponsored by Stylumia involved senior executives from Heal’s, White Stuff, Moss Bros, LVMH and Holland & Barratt hearing about Simon’s time at Selfridge’s including how the store was very much focused on delivering an experience to shoppers.

Unlike many retailers with physical space the company has not based its decisions on the level of sales per square foot it can deliver in its outlets. Instead it has been much more about driving a memorable experience. This was behind its decision to create things like its skate bowl. 

The company has also focused heavily on the food and beverage offer within its stores as it has long recognised the willingness of shoppers to spend greater amounts if they are on the premises longer and looked after in a comfortable environment. It has pioneered various food and drink concepts.

Simon had previously been director of online operations at Debenhams where he gained skills that he was able to deploy at Selfridge’s, which had been developing its digital capabilities.

The evening also included a tutored wine tasting hosted by one of the expert Hedonism sommeliers involving a number of flights of wines from the acclaimed 2010 vintage.

Retail Insider would like to thank Simon Forster for taking part in the event and providing some great insights on the night and also to Stylumia for making the event possible.

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider