Selfridges starts garden center and sells tools, plants and gnomes – WWD
LONDON – Selfridges has unveiled a not-so-secret garden inside the Oxford Street store as homebound Britons flock to the outdoor spaces and cultivate their plots of greenery, large or small.
The garden center sells tools, seeds, indoor and outdoor plants, pots, Selfridges branded compost and dwarfs in the store’s signature yellow.
The store said the center is a “playful response” to the boom in outdoor appreciation linked to the pandemic. It’s also part of Good Nature, Selfridges’ creative theme for 2021.
The store said figures from the Horticultural Trades Association showing more than 3 million people started gardening in 2020 due to time spent at home since the first lockdown last year.
In addition to plants, seeds and gardening accessories, the garden center also sells a selection of fashion, lifestyle and beauty products, an exclusive collection from Prada and bespoke products from Selfridges. The latter has names such as “Herb Your Enthusiasm” and “Horti-Couture”, to appeal to gardening and fashion enthusiasts.
The center was started by horticultural consultant Angela Maynard, who advised Selfridges in the development of the concept, and by botanical artist Carly Rogers who created a new work that showcases ‘the beauty of the overgrown garden’ .
There is a potting shed that serves as a venue for events and tips, with a resident gardener and virtual “dial-a-gardener” service.
Selfridges also has a program of workshops, experiences and events scheduled to begin on Friday. They aim to explore “the fun and positivity of gardening” and to promote practical skills and sustainable methods.
Selfridges London has the largest offering, while Birmingham and Manchester units will have a Green House concept. Customers will be able to purchase the range and find gardening information and advice through selfridges.com.
The retailer also “greened” Oxford Street, with a grow bag installation in front of the store’s canopy entrance.
The store named their yellow garden gnome Gary, and he’s featured on a collection of caps, tote bags, and t-shirts. Gary, dressed in the new season Versace, Bottega Veneta and Jacquemus, is also featured in a campaign by Berlin-based creative studio Sucuk + Bratwurst.
A very limited set of Gary Gnomes will be available for purchase, Selfridges said.
“A garden center is evocative, yet familiar, and has provided rich inspiration to our teams, literally and creatively,” said Hannah Emslie, Creative Director of Selfridges.
“We know our customers are more interested in gardening and greening than they’ve ever been – and so we’re playing with the idea by bringing the essentials of a typical garden center into our stores as we let’s continue to explore the fun of nature this year. “