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Brief Published: 9 Sep 2021

Selfridges’ New Immersive & Event-Led Gaming Destination

Selfridges' Playhouse

Harnessing the power of events-led retailing, UK department store Selfridges’ new London gaming destination is leveraging the rise in lockdown play – the number of British gamers grew by 63% during the first six months of the pandemic. ‘PlayHouse’ combines immersive VR experiences and simulators from brands including British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin with regular workshops.

The 200 sq m lower ground floor concession is curated and staffed by tech demo retail specialist Smartech which also operates concessions in department stores including Neiman Marcus (New York), Printemps (Paris) and KaDaWe (Berlin) and already runs Selfridges’ gadgets and e-bikes concessions.

Play & Purchase: The PlayHouse concept is exclusive to Selfridges, however, and follows a pop-up in Selfridges’ Corner Shop space in December 2020/January 2021. Within its lit-from-within white and blush frame, visitors can play games on devices ranging from the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles to Snap Spectacles and retro arcade machines, all of which are shippable to consumers’ homes. Other products range from Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo games to hardware such as console controls.

Immersive Experiences: Bookable 30-minute immersive experiences include virtual reality (VR) games from Lebanese specialists Robocom VR (£20/ $27:50). A European-first, it launches with ‘Transformer VR – Invasion of the Decepticons’.

Additionally, the Aston Martin AMR-C01 luxury simulator invites visitors to sit within an open shell (designed to replicate the feeling of sitting in an Aston Martin) while a wraparound screen and a digital replica of an Aston Martin dashboard complete the experience.  ­

Regular Events Hosting: PlayHouse will also host events including coding workshops and classes on how to build gaming PCs from UK custom PC builder Battlerigs. The store will also feature a new exclusive product or experience every fortnight in a bid to win repeat footfall and establish a reputation as a gaming community hub.