Selfridges is aiming to introduce a raft of retail ‘food concepts’ over the next two years, as it seeks to revitalise its retail environment and invigorate the shopping experience in general.
The concepts could see additional restaurants, food stalls or ‘experiences’ integrated into the store and the retailer is likely to collaborate with designers on the projects. Currently, Selfridges operates 18 restaurants, cafés and bars at its Oxford Street store.
As part of this long-term strategy, Selfridges is opening Obika, an Italian mozzarella bar, on its second floor. Designed by Rome-based architect Labics, the 75-seat restaurant features a communal dining table and a smaller, café style area. The interiors use glass, blond wood and steel in attempts to create a stylish, urban space. Central back-lit glass tanks will display the mozzarella cheeses and charcuterie meats. Italian graphic designer Koen Ivens has designed the Obika identity.
Already established in Rome and Milan, the launch next week marks Obika’s debut in the UK. The dining concept is likened to an Italian version of a sushi bar.
‘This marks the first of a lot of exciting things happening at Selfridges, as we introduce more food concepts in-store throughout 2006 and 2007,’ says a spokeswoman.
Selfridges is currently working with Hosker Moore Kent Melia to assess the design of the entire store (DW 13 October). Selfridges creative director, Alannah Weston – daughter of store owner Galen Weston – is spearheading the creative review.