In 1909, the maverick American retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge opened the West End of London's first dedicated department store to a blaze of glorious publicity - the culmination of the largest advertising campaign ever mounted in the British press.
No one understood the sex appeal of shopping better than Selfridge, and his fervent belief in consumerism as both sensual and theatrical entertainment ensured the success of his eponymous Oxford Street store.
But the 'showman of shopping' would eventually be undone by an insatiable addiction to gambling, extravagant mansions and even more extravagant mistresses. Thirty years after building his revolutionary store, Selfridge was ousted in a boardroom coup. The self-made millionaire died virtually penniless in 1947.
Set against the heady growth of twentieth century consumerism, Lindy Woodhead explores the rise and fall of the retail prince whose fusion of shopping and seduction has left a lasting legacy, symbolised by the towering Ionic columns of Selfridges.