Custom dual-sided digital totems showcasing the best of beauty

The only store to be named the Best Department Store in the World four times, Selfridges today is more than just the sum of its products.

The Challenge

For a number of years, we’ve installed inside Selfridges stores thanks to our work within the cosmetic retail industry, installing concessions for the likes of Urban Decay, Bare Minerals, and Yves Saint Laurent. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that we were selected to work directly with the brand on one of their own projects – the award-winning beauty hall redevelopment at their Trafford Centre store.

Opening in 1998, the Trafford Centre store was only the brand’s second site (after London Oxford Street had opened 89 years prior) and is one of it’s most popular. However, after 20 years, it was decided a fresh look was required for the store’s beauty hall space. The plan was to fully redevelop the space, in two distinct phases, leading to a new beauty hall environment allowing for flexible use and leveraging technology to add to the shopper experience. Beauty brands were added to the floorplan on an ‘invite only’ basis, and any digital solution would have to allow for custom branding, along with the flexibility for changes over time.

Pixel was tasked with designing, procuring, installing and managing a digital solution that could be supplied to each brand. The solution would need to allow for flexible branding in a way that highlighted the key brands around the space but also worked in harmony across the entire space.

Our Approach

Working with our furniture and fabrication partners alongside Selfridges design and marketing teams, Pixel produced a totem design, allowing for 1x4 46″ ultra-narrow bezel video wall displays on each side. The totem was designed with appropriate ventilation and access for maintenance in mind, along with a simple method for swapping out the branded cover panels to accommodate store configuration changes.

With 22 totems, the design incorporates 176 screens in a single space. With concerns shared about how visually-overwhelming this could potentially be for shoppers, Pixel’s in-house studio team created a 3D conceptual fly-through to show layout and impact. We also worked very closely with the 22 beauty brands (including Chanel, Kiehls, Charlotte Tilbury & Urban Decay) to come up with a play loop strategy allowing for certain brands to utilise full speed motion in times where others used slower or static content. This careful approach keeps the environment feeling calm and high-end rather than loud and brash.

Pixel supplied all 22 totems including screens, media players and shells (which allowed for a custom paint or powder coat per brand) as well as a 9×1 video wall running along one edge of the beauty hall. Install was completed by Pixel’s Northern and Midlands teams and completed within the space of a week.

The Outcome

We were immensely proud to be nominated for a coveted DailyDooh Gala Award for our work on this project in late 2018 and love to hear the strong positive feedback we get still from Selfridges and others for this project. We continue to work with the 22 beauty brands as well as Selfridges on the creation and scheduling of content as well as ongoing support and maintenance tasks.


If you would like to know more about this project or have your own upcoming digital solutions project, why not get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you!