Rumours are once again rife that there may be a Selfridges department store opening up in Newcastle city centre. It’s enough to make a girl put down her wine glass (a nice Chilean Cab Sav since you asked) and pay attention.
I say ‘again’ because there have been rumours in the past, notably in 2003-04, and nothing came of it.
Personally I think that opening a Selfridges store in Newcastle would be a bloody marvellous idea. Are you listening Selfridges & Co? We’re so ready for you.
I mean, I’d be bankrupt in a week (there’s that suspected conspiracy again) if I were let loose in a Selfridges on a regular basis, in my hometown, as opposed to a Special Trip Out down to Manchester/London etc. It cannot be sensible to be able to fall out of bed and into a Chanel boutique. I simply don’t earn enough to cover that kind of extravagance! Anytime I nipped out to buy milk I’d be finding an excuse to drift in through those glossy doors. Terrible. But for the ease of hinting at birthday/Christmas presents..? Perfect.
The rumour mill has suggested the old Odeon Cinema on Pilgrim Street to be in the running as a potential location for the new department store, which would be fairly handy. But as far as I’m aware that was considered and then rejected the last time because it had listed building status and the implications of turning it into a large store upset a fair few people. That’s probably understandeable because what’s left of the art deco interior does need preserving really but unless someone takes on that huge restoration job the building is merely going to stand empty and sink further into a sorry state of disrepair. It might be nice to see the building being used again and treated to a well deserved touch of glamour. The other site that has been mentioned on the tangled grape vine is the old Co-op building near The Gate. That’s a little further out, putting more distance between the newbie and potential rival Fenwicks, but it would be closer to Debenhams and the new additional extension to Eldon Square I suppose. Helpfully that building did used to be a department store and so would probably be easier to convert into a Selfridges.
Either way I’m excited to see what, if anything, comes of these whispers. More redevelopment for the city centre’s disused and derelict buildings can only be a positive change as far as I’m concerned. So fingers crossed for a new luxury fashion offering for the north east in the not-too distant future!