// Half of interactions with Selfridges customers to be resale, repair, rental or refills by 2030
// Selfridges says Planet Earth project has helped inspire ambitious new sustainability target
Selfridges is aiming for almost half its interactions with customers to be based on resale, repair, rental or refills by 2030.
The move comes as Selfridges responds to increasing demand for more sustainable shopping. The retailer said it wanted to step up action after increasing sales of second-hand items by 240% to 17,771 pieces last year.
It also facilitated 28,000 repairs, more than a third of which were pairs of trainers, in its effort to operate in a more environmentally sustainable way.
More than 2,000 items were rented out to Selfridges customers over the year and it sold more than 8,000 refills.
Andrew Keith, managing director of the department store group, said its ‘Reselfridges’ initiative aimed to change the way that people shop and would form the “backbone of the business”, making up 45% of transactions in future.
Setting a deadline of 2030 to reach that target, Keith said: “We have got to commit to a significant and fundamental shift in the way we do business and use the platform of Selfridges for change.”
Keith said Selfridges’ new owners, the Thai conglomerate Central Group and Austrian real estate company Signa Holding, which recently finalised £4 billion acquisition of the group, was “very excited” about the green plan and the takeover was an opportunity to accelerate some of its goals with their “support and encouragement”.
He said the first two years of Selfridges’ Project Earth plan had been about experimentation and pilots, with only 5% or 6% of transactions with shoppers currently based on “circular” models such as resale or repair.
Repair services will now be offered outside London at its Birmingham and Manchester stores and it will be easier to book repairs online.
Rental, which Selfridges admits has had fairly limited uptake during the pandemic, will also expand into new categories including childrenswear, accessories, fine jewellery and menswear, and refill services will be made more available.
“The important thing is encouraging people to think how they can extend the life of a product,” Keith said. “We are enabling customers to add life into their wardrobes above and beyond buying new.”