Selfridges & Co

Selfridges sought to secure a property director for the UK business, a newly established role, to focus on the all-important presentation of exclusive brands in an environment dedicated to the theatre of retail.

The new director of property had a number of key deliverables, would be directly accountable for a large team and needed to be an extremely strong, consistent and inspirational leader to drive forward a team with a complex and busy remit.

The requirement had its challenges, and the appointment needed to be made in the context of Selfridges’ unique culture, including their particular traditional practices and approach to retail (and general) management. Green Park incorporated this knowledge in the end-to-end search and recruitment process.

To ensure Green Park fully grasped the nature of the business so we could recruit the very best talent fit for this role, the team met with key stakeholders at Selfridges and carried out an in-depth study of the department store, both as a business and a retail store that attracts such a wide-ranging customer type, ie, accommodating medium- to high-end brands.

Green Park then performed a mapping exercise and undertook a search across businesses throughout Europe that had suitable synergy with Selfridges.

We explored retail, facility management consultancies and design consultancies, with the particular goal of identifying candidates with experience of end-to-end construction, facilities management and design exposure.

Candidates were considered, shortlisted and selected based on their understanding of Selfridge’s tastes and recognition as a high-end department store, along with their proven ability to balance this with commercial considerations.

The successful candidate was previously head of store development at Arcadia and prior to that, BHS. He reflected all the qualities sought and was appointed in March 2012. Selfridges has since undergone various major transformations and projects under his direction, generally aimed at ensuring that the store maintains a modern and attractive appearance.

Maria Stanford, the HR director and hiring manager for Selfridges, said: “In all my dealings with Green Park, I have found them extremely professional. They take time not only to understand the role requirements but also the company and, just as importantly, the key stakeholders. The pre-interview briefings are first class and they take time to present a real choice of candidates. In addition, they communicate well. I never feel hassled or abandoned!”