Iconic Selfridges opens in Brum

Selfridges' new Birmingham store, centrepiece of the£530 million Bullring shopping centre, could account for up to a sixth of the retailer's annual turnover, according to chief executive Peter Williams.

The Bullring store, which opened yesterday, could achieve sales densities of£400 per sq ft (£4,305 per sq m) within three years, Williams said.

Turnover could top£80 million a year from its 190,000 sq ft (17,650 sq m) of space.

Selfridges' 540,000 sq ft (50,165 sq m) Oxford Street store achieves sales densities of about£700 per sq ft (£7,535 per sq m), resulting in annual sales of£369 million for the year to February 2003. Overall, the retailer turned over£445 million last financial year.

Williams said the unique architecture of the£40 million Selfridges Bullring store 'would act as a billboard' for the company and as an iconic landmark for Britain's second city.

'This is the first time for decades that anyone has designed a complete department store with a clear canvas inside and outside,' said Williams.

The Bullring shopping centre, which also opened yesterday, is poised to restore Birmingham's reputation as a retail location, which has suffered while the city underwent a decade of development.

'We are confident that the Bullring is really going to re-establish Birmingham as the main retail centre for the Midlands,' said Williams.