Selfridges & Co. is offering couples the chance to get married in its giant shopping emporium on London’s Oxford Street in a novel approach to attracting people back to the store.
The luxury department store has acquired a temporary license to host “micro weddings” for a limited period this year for up to 20 guests. The initiative is part of a plan to “offer new ways to celebrate the special experiences everyone has been missing” during lockdowns, the retailer said in a statement.
Many British weddings have been canceled or postponed during the pandemic because of restrictions on large gatherings, and the growing backlog has reduced venue availability. Selfridges said its plan will help meet that demand while providing an unusual alternative.
Named after the company’s founder, the American retail magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge, the Oxford Street store opened in 1909. It has long been a focal point in the capital’s main shopping district and a mecca for fashion-conscious consumers.
Three different wedding packages will be provided, with options including hair and makeup appointments, clothing rental, use of the store’s private cinema, champagne and wine, and a four-hour DJ set. Ceremonies will take place in a designated “wedding suite” on the fourth floor, and the service will also be available for civil partnerships.
British stores have been reporting strong sales since non-essential retail reopened on April 12. On Monday, sausage-roll chain Greggs Plc and upmarket chocolatier Hotel Chocolat Group Plc both raised profit forecasts.
By Deirdre Hipwell