If you lived at Downton Abbey, you would have shopped at Selfridges.
Mr. Selfridge tells the story of ‘Mile a Minute Harry’, a man with a mission to make shopping as thrilling as sex. The series is based upon the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge (played by Jeremy Piven), who founded the world-renowned store on London’s Oxford Street in 1909.
– SEASON 4 –
London, 1928: Nine years have passed and Harry Selfridge is at the pinnacle of his wealth and celebrity and enjoying the frenzy of the roaring 20s. But in this buzzing, fast-evolving world, Harry is splashing his cash in an unprecedented, dangerous way. As he parties and gambles with stage stars, the Dolly Sisters, and pursues risky new business ventures, the trials and tribulations of our other much loved characters, and a handful of new comers, also unfold. Lady Mae returns to London to rebuild her life whilst Mardle and Grove thrash out their differences, and Kitty and Frank embark on the biggest challenge to their relationship yet. This final series chronicles Harry’s epic rollercoaster ride as he begins to lose grip on his empire, alongside the fortunes of all those whose lives he has touched.
Nine years after season three, we find Harry Selfridge at the pinnacle of his power and public celebrity – a retail giant at the heart of the roaring twenties. A man-about-town in London and often gambling glamorously abroad, rumours of Harry’s latest fling light up the social circuit at Victor’s new nightspot, which is bigger and more decadent than ever.
This is a time of rapid change and progress. A time where nothing and nobody wants to stand still and contemplate. Fashions and musical tastes are evolving. It is a new and modern world with the crackle of radio and exciting new technologies. The mood of London is distinctly ‘modern’.
After the accident at the Queen of Time unveiling, Harry is recovering at his country home. A frustrated Harry is being forced to recuperate under his mother LOIS’ caring, but watchful eye. He is lucky to be alive. It doesn’t take long before Harry’s absence is noted in the press, and when Gordon talks with a journalist, he unwittingly sparks sensationalist tabloid headlines about Harry’s advancing age.
Despite his loss, Harry is pretending that it’s business as usual. His spirited daughter Violette has returned from life in Paris, and together with Rosalie they implore Harry to stop burying his head in the sand – but Harry is happy to be distracted, particularly by new belle Rosie Dolly.
After the huge monetary success of The Selfridge Trust, Harry has whisked a large group of journalists to Biarritz, France to make an important announcement. Harry reveals that The Selfridge Group has expanded: they have purchased a raft of new department stores across London and Great Britain. Accompanied by Mae, Jimmy, Frank and the Dolly Sisters too, it’s an all-expenses paid trip designed to lavish the press with love. It’s a typical roaring twenties affair where sheer excess, glittering gambling and decadent luxury is the order of the day – and night!
Megaphone in-hand, Harry yells “cut!” The ground floor of Selfridge’s has been transformed into a backdrop for filming a silent movie, Double Trouble, starring the Dolly Sisters and famous actor Bumby Wallace.
Everyone is reeling from the assault on the store, especially Harry. D’Ancona continues to pile on the pressure: Harry must pay his debts within days or else suffer more consequences. Harry doesn’t know what to do.
After a tumultuous period, Harry is determined to get his life and the store back on track. Selfridge’s has returned to doing what it does best: a classic store wide ‘Summer Promotion’. Gordon and Harry are really enjoying working together again, and between them they see off threats from Lord Wynnstay and an ominous Mr. Keen.
Harry, Gordon and Jimmy are working hard before the purchase of Whiteley’s is announced to the world. They are tense with anticipation; it’s a bold and exciting project that will cement the future of the Selfridge legacy. The stakes are high.
At Selfridge’s, preparations are afoot to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the store’s opening. Harry gets special permission from the council for a large-scale public parade along Oxford Street. The celebrations will be unlike anything ever seen before!
Jimmy’s final act has left Harry reeling; he blames himself for everything that’s happened. Mae’s love life, Harry’s judgement, Selfridge’s and Whiteley’s are now all under the spotlight of a tabloid frenzy. Serious questions about Harry’s financial stability are rife.
– A LOOK BACK AT SEASON 3 –
Season 3 picks up in 1919 and the whole of England – including the Selfridge family and the store employees – are searching for ways to recover from the devastation of the Great War. Everyone has lost somebody; everyone has suffered change. How do you move on from such a cataclysmic event? How do you look forward and get on with your life?
Harry Selfridge, reeling from a personal grief, will make many mistakes over the ten episodes of this series. He will sew the seeds of his own downfall. Selfridges, the store, is still shining bright on Oxford Street today, but the Selfridge family is no longer at the helm. How did one man create such a magnificent store and then lose it? It seems like the harder Harry tries, the more he puts himself at risk. Looking for ways to maintain the Selfridge family legacy, and at the same time to help the country recover from War, he unwittingly makes himself vulnerable.
And he has enemies, both seen and unseen.
– EPISODE GUIDE –
May 1918: The funeral of Rose, Harry’s wife, who has died, takes place and a distraught Harry says goodbye.
Selfridge’s pursuit of the new homes project is thwarted by Crabb’s statement to the company board regarding its viability. The biggest post war fashion event at the store proves a challenge for the staff; Lord Loxley sees a way to make trouble for Selfridge by investing in Serge’s aerodrome plans; Henri, suffering from shell shock, takes to drinking at Colleano’s club.
Selfridge personally pays off the women in the loading bay made surplus by the returning men. Proceeding with his plan to buy land for housing, he finds himself bidding against Lord Loxley. Henri has a very public row with Agnes in one of the store’s front display windows. Lois, Selfridge’s mother, instigates an investigation into the background of Princess Marie. Frank Edwards has started a book about out of work ex-soldiers that has an unintended consequence for his wife Kitty when she is attacked.
To catch Kitty’s attackers, her husband has to reveal his involvement with the men, causing a strain on their marriage. Another marriage under strain is Rosalie’ who has to pay her husband’s gambling debts after Lord Loxley, having used him to get at Selfridge pulls out of his project. To save her marriage Agnes resigns to take Henri out of London to recuperate.
Selfridge seeks a new store deputy from his staff, placing Miss Mardle and Mr Grove in direct competition. A reluctant Gordon is persuaded by Miss Calthorpe to apply. The fallout from the attack on Kitty Edwards is exploited by Lord Loxley. Selfridge counters by advancing his and Nancy Webb’s plans for the Selfridge estate.
Selfridge sells some of his stock, losing sole control of the store to raise cash for his and Nancy Webb’s Selfridge estate. Victor Colleano is approached to have gambling in his club by a man that will get the police off his back. Mr. Grove is not happy being passed over for promotion and lets Gordon, the new store deputy, give the new head of display approval for a new window display not realizing the embarrassment that it will cause. Kitty Edwards, realizing her husband is powerless to stop Lord Loxley helping the men who attacked her, seeks George Towler’s help to resolve the situation.
Selfridge’s relationship with Nancy Webb deepens and she has doubts about her own plans when Lord Loxley, who has purchased the stock Selfridge sold, tries to undermine him at a board meeting. Loxley, to demand a seat on the board, has also acquired Rosalie’s shares through Serge.
Late June 1919. The peace Treaty of Versailles is signed and Selfridge decides to hold a “Britain at Play” event to promote the store; he appoints Frank Edwards as head of print and publications. Lord Loxley heads a group of shareholders examining Selfridges’s plans.
To make good his promise to shareholders to increase profits, Selfridge announces a massive sale. Bad publicity engendered by rival stores is exploited by Lord Loxley, who convenes an emergency board meeting. Lord Loxley reads of the forthcoming marriage of Lady Mae. George Towler is re-employed as head of security following an approach to Mr Grove by Miss Mardle.
Selfridge battles a no-confidence engineered by Lord Loxley. Gordon chooses Miss Calthorpe against his father’s wishes. Mr. Grove and Miss Mardle are reconciled. Nancy Webb confesses to Selfridge when her secret partner is arrested and Selfridge re-examines their relationship despite her professing her love for him.