Home Music therapy Selfridges tempts shoppers with sex therapy and ‘psychedelic trips’ | Retail business

Selfridges tempts shoppers with sex therapy and ‘psychedelic trips’ | Retail business


Selfridges will offer drug-free sex therapies and “psychedelic trips” in the luxury department store’s latest ploy to entice shoppers back into stores.

From February 28, the retailer, which has outlets in Manchester, Birmingham and London, will offer the headline-grabbing services as part of its Superself event, which it says “takes visitors into a journey of uplifting self-discovery and nurturing self-care”. ”.

The therapy sessions are offered in partnership with The Stack World, a female-focused online media outlet spun off from the Beautystack beauty marketplace founded by former stylist Sharmadean Reid.

The £150 45-minute ‘sex life reboot’ is led by Dr Karen Gurney, a clinical psychologist and psycho-sexologist who promises to ‘assess and reset a couple’s or individual’s sex life through to a WORD of sexual life”. Other options include a £50 confidence coaching session or a £99 ‘creative breakthrough’ meeting with a hypnotherapist.

The “psychedelic journeys” are delivered via high-tech modules operated by tech specialist Sensiks, where users are bombarded with “bespoke scents, infrared light, heat and sound”. The colorful constructions, which look like giant pods, use virtual reality technology to help users “drift” through a “soothing universe” of kaleidoscopic shapes and relaxing music. Selfridges says the experience is “much like a short meditation”.

A 10-minute session within the Sensory Reality Sensiks module involves virtual reality technology. Photography: Jason Alden/Selfridges

Superself is the latest in a long line of Selfridges events, with themes ranging from literature to the environment, which aim to draw shoppers to stores in the digital age. This year is particularly tricky as city centres, and particularly London where Selfridges has its flagship store, have been hit hard after the pandemic caused a shift to working from home and decimated tourist travel.

Business conditions prompted Selfridges to cut 450 jobs in 2020 – 14% of its workforce – after the 114-year-old company suffered its “toughest year” in living memory.

Neighboring Oxford Street department stores – House of Fraser and Debenhams – both closed last year as sales in the area fell from £8billion to £2billion in 2020 and are expected to reach just £5bn last year.

Westminster Council, which oversees the Oxford Street area, has pledged to spend £150million on improvements. However, he delayed his regeneration plans after he got off to a disastrous start with the £6m Marble Arch Mound, which drew ridicule.

Selfridges is now changing hands after the Weston family, owners of the group since 2003, agreed to sell to a Thai retailer and an Austrian property company for an estimated £4billion.