Shopping, Seduction And Mr Selfridge

Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge

Lindsay Duncan reads from Lindy Woodhead's biography of Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of the famous department store.

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012007102220090323 (BBC7)

Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge

Lindsay Duncan reads from Lindy Woodhead's biography of Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of the famous department store.Harry was a philanderer, gambler, dandy and showman, but he was also the father of modern retailing.

The famous department store founder had an innovative approach to retail.

Lindy Woodhead's biography read by Lindsay Duncan.

022007102320090324 (BBC7)

Harry has made his reputation in America, but he is still an employee.

Determined to set up a department store under his own name, he makes the move to London, where his grandiose schemes soon make an impression.

Harry opens his London shop.

Initially takings are miserable, until he comes up with a spectacular idea.

Read by Lindsay Duncan.

Initially takings are miserable, but he comes up with an idea

032007102420090325 (BBC7)

In the heady months before the First World War, the store finally takes off, with Harry boasting that he owns the third biggest attraction in town after Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.

Even when war finally comes, it's business as usual for Selfridge.

As the father of modern retailing, Harry was a clever showman.

He was also a philanderer and gambler.

Read by Lindsay Duncan.

He was also a philanderer.

042007102520090326 (BBC7)

The war is finally over.

With nobody to restrain him after the deaths of his wife and mother, Selfridge's hedonistic cravings rage unchecked.

Unfortunately for Harry, the most glamorous pastime of the period is gambling.

The hedonistic department store founder hooks up with wild society girls, the Dolly sisters.

Read by Lindsay Duncan.

The hedonistic department store founder hooks up with the wild Dolly sisters.

05 LAST2007102620090327 (BBC7)

With the threat of World War II on the horizon, profits at Selfridge's are down.

The board advises belt-tightening and moderation, but Harry is unaccustomed to restraint.

His excesses prove to be his downfall.

Faced with debt and unaccustomed to restraint, Harry has to sell his shares in the department store.

Read by Lindsay Duncan.

Faced with debt and unaccustomed to restraint, Harry has to sell his shares in the store.