Between 1906 and 1909, there unfolded an Anglo-American drama which had a significant impact upon retailing practice in London: an American businessman, H. Gordon Selfridge, arrived from Chicago in order to found a department store at the west end of Oxford Street. It would be, he declared, “the best thing of its kind in the world” [1]. Selfridge’s enterprise was described as the “American Invasion of London” [2] by the daily and drapery trade presses, which accorded the venture extensive, and generally hostile, coverage as it evolved. However, the American methods of retailing thus ostensibly introduced to the British shopping and shopkeeping public were not the only trans-Atlantic innovations which Selfridge’s “gigantic building” [3] brought to public attention. The success of his scheme was dependent upon the size and appearance of the store itself. Selfridge envisioned a truly monumental retail emporium which would help him to achieve his ultimate goal, that of raising “the business of a merchant to the Dignity of a Science.” [4] (Fig. 1).