Person    | Male  Born 11/1/1858  Died 8/5/1947

Harry Selfridge

Categories: Commerce

Countries: USA

Born Wisconsin. Too small to join the navy he became a clerk in a department store, where he rose to manager and then set out on his own. Very successful, he "retired" in 1906, moved to London and employed a Chicago architect, Daniel Burnham, to design his new store in Oxford Street, opened in 1909. He brought new ideas to British retailing; he is said to be the originator of "The customer is always right". Made his personality felt, touring the shop floor every day, formally dressed in a top hat.

After his wife's death in 1918 he continued his extravagant life-style with a liaison with Syrie Wellcome (see Barnardo, her father, for some info about her) and with a series of well-known ladies of the theatre, including a pair of identical twins the Dolly Sisters, entertaining lavishly at his home, Lansdowne House at 9 Fitzmaurice Place. Through poor financial management he gradually lost control of the business, finally departing in 1941. When he died 6 years later he had lost his fortune and, owning no property, was living with his daughter at 2 Ross Court, Putney Heath, where he died.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Harry Selfridge

Commemorated ati

Harry Selfridge at Selfridges

The feet of all the customers visiting "this house" have, over the years, sof...

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Harry Selfridge plaque

Harry Gordon Selfridge, 1858 - 1947, department store magnate, lived here, 19...

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Albergo del Pellegrino

Albergo del Pellegrino

This building was used as a hotel, 'The Pilgrim' until about 1930.  It was demolished following WW2 bomb damage.  The photo shows the east side and Byron's window was on the first floor, fourth fro...

Building, Commerce, Community / Clubs, Food & Drink

1 memorial
Frederick Craufurd Goodenough

Frederick Craufurd Goodenough

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1 memorial
Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer

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2 memorials
Thomas James Clements

Thomas James Clements

1883, Trustee of Lopping Hall, Loughton. According to G. Sludge, ".. a tea broker".

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1 memorial