Selfridges promotion draws orders

WA companies are raking in regular orders from Selfridges department stores in England as a result of the recent Land of Plenty promotion.

The ten day promotion drew crowds of 30,000 people a day and more than $250,000 worth of WA produce was sold in one week. One-third of all customers bought a WA product.

Stocks of products ran out due to demand and had to be reordered including Peters and Brownes icecream, New Norcia nutcake and Wescobee honey.

Wescobee CEO and international business manager Ed Planken said the company anticipated a follow-up order soon but “the proof of the pudding is yet to come”.

Seafood was most in demand, with more than $100,000 worth of lobster, scallops, prawns, yabbies and other fish sold during the promotion.

At one stage, WA wildflowers were being sold from the displays faster than they could be put on display.

Sunglow Flowers’ Jeff Hayler said the WA wildflower export market would never be enormous in the UK. However, he said “there is a distinct niche”.

“Considering this, it is wrong for producers to adopt a competitive approach and scramble over each other for export dollars,” he said.

“We have worked cooperatively with other wildflower producers and Total Flower Exports in order to support each other’s efforts.”

The Jan Packer florist chain, which has a concession within Selfridges, has ordered WA wildflowers for all five of its London stores.

Other products achieving strong sales included Murphy crisps, Berry Farm produce, Windmill Flour bread mix, Flying Swan nougat, Rock Choc and Rare Amber beer. Wine sales clocked $34,000 in the first week.

Fruit and vegetable exports to the UK seem likely to increase because WA can supply produce off-season.

WA lamb also had great export potential, with TV chef Antonio Carluccio singing its praises.

The food department in the Selfridges London store had its biggest trading day since Christmas, while the Manchester store had its two most significant trading days ever as a result of the promotion.

Selfridges food hall and catering director Jean-Paul Barat said the success of the promotion exceeded all expectations.

“Britain’s top food and lifestyle magazines gave the promotion strong coverage,” Mr Barat said.

“WA produce is now clearly on the map in Britain.”

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