Department store group Selfridges has brought forward the launch of a mobile-optimised website to help last-minute Christmas gift buyers make their purchases and is introducing an in-store SOS shopping service.

The retailer expects the initiatives to appeal particularly to men, and anticipates that 44% of last-minute gift searches will be done using mobile devices.

Selfridges expects about 250,000 shoppers to start their festive shopping on Christmas Eve.

Selfridges has also launched an in-store ‘SOS’ shopping advice service to help customers with last-minute present buying.

The personal shopping service is designed to enable customers to complete their shopping in 30 minutes and is scheduled to go live on Thursday and run until Christmas Eve.

Head of Selfridges Gift Gurus Julia Topp said: “For some men, shopping at this time of the year can be quite a stressful and daunting experience, especially for those not accustomed to gift buying.

“Our Gift Guru SOS service is targeted at these men specifically, and provides them with a productive and effective service, all keeping within the festive spirit”