'Oooh I'll just head to Selfridges for a bit of peace and quiet'
is not a phrase you'd ever expect to hear. Until now, that
Because folks, Selfridges, that King of stores has teamed up
with Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk and creator of
Headspace to bring a bit of 'shhhhhhh' to your shopping
Duck out of the crazy, noisy sales and look for the cloud-like
Headspace pods. Creep under the pod, sit on a stool and stick on a
pair of earphones and you'll hear Puddicombe's mellifluous tones as
he guides you through various meditations (there's one each on
food, love and fragrance) according to which department you're
Feeling a bit more chilled? Then head to the 'Quiet Shop'
where various brands have been asked to shout less loud… the result
= no logos. Marmite, ketchup and Heinz baked beans all in
silent packaging (though of course their branding is so strong you
recognize the products immediately - and seeing them with
evaporated words makes them even more desirable.
Clever.) There are clothes and beauty brands involved too;
Levis with only a red tag, Crème de la Mer and Acne have all joined
the whispering party.
But for some proper quiet time you need the relaunched Silence
Room. Amazingly this concept was pioneered by the shop's
visionary founder, Harry Gordon Selfridge. But for 2013
architect Alex Cochrane has made a soft, low-lit space where the
rules include no shoes and no bits of bleeping tech
equipment. Leave your phone, iPad and trotters in lockers at
the door and then pad into the room to read a book, sit quietly or
even have a swift forty winks. But no lewd behaviour thank
you very much - Selfridges has a Big Brother camera trained on the
space at all times. (As I found out when reprimanded after
forgetting to remove my boots!)
PS News just in - Andy Puddicombe will lead 3 meditations in the
Silence Room on 3rd February between 12pm and 1pm