What are the most impressive flagship stores on Oxford Street?
As the biggest shopping street in the UK, Oxford Street is home to spectacular flagships from leading brands.
Selfridges department store has outposts in Birmingham and Manchester but the Oxford Street branch is where it all began for eccentric American retailer Harry Selfridge. The nine-floor shopping Mecca opened here in 1909.
John Lewis is one of the street’s oldest surviving shops on the street, opening in 1864, and its flagship department store still has a strong presence here.
British fashion and homeware brand Next has its flagship at numbers 120-128 Oxford Street and includes concessions of Costa Coffee, Lipsy, Clarks kids, Paperchase and HEMA.
When Topshop opened near Oxford Circus in the 90s it was the biggest fashion store in the world and is still an impressive sight to behold containing 90,000 sq ft of trendy garments at affordable prices.
There’s plenty more to take in too, if you can find the time, with flagships from international brands such as Uniqlo, Reserved, Stradivarius, New Balance and more.
Why is Oxford Street such a popular shopping destination?
Oxford Street offers more than 300 shops right at the heart of the city. Within walking distance of major tourist spots including Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square, it’s conveniently located and has everything your heart could desire from fashion to beauty and homewares to technology.
Many of the shops have become tourist destinations in their own right. From the luxurious Selfridges department store, the second biggest store in London, to the original site of HMV music where The Beatles cut their first demo disc.
In December the street has a festive feel thanks to its famous Christmas lights which make it the choice for many locals and tourists buying gifts for loved ones.
Where are the nearest tube stations to Oxford Street?
The best tube station to arrive right at the centre of Oxford Street is Oxford Circus which is served by the Central, Bakerloo and Victoria lines.
To start your shopping trip at the far west end of the street, alight at Marble Arch, served by the Central line. You can also get off at Bond Street, on the Central and Jubilee lines, to exit the underground directly opposite Selfridges.
Alternatively, Tottenham Court Road station, along the Central and Northern (charing cross branch) lines, will bring you up where Oxford Street starts from the east end.
When did Oxford Street first become a popular shopping street?
Despite always having been one of London’s busiest street, Oxford Street hasn’t always been the shopping haven it is today.
Oxford Street was once one of the main travel routes into the City of London, built in Roman times and passed through the village of Tyburn. At the far west end of the street, where Marble Arch is now, was a public gallows, known as Tyburn Tree which was in use until 1783. Criminals would be paraded along Oxford Street before meeting their fate and many pubs and food vendors set up along the road to serve the crowds visiting the executions.
It was once the gallows closed that the characteristics of the street began to change. With nearby Mayfair also being developed for its high society neighbours, it was a chance for a fresh start. When Regent Street, built as a shopping destination, was completed in 1825, the shops started to fill up on Oxford Street too. It was at this time that one of the longest standing residence of the street, John Lewis, set up shop in 1864. The last residential buildings on Oxford Street disappeared by the 1930s to give the street over entirely to retail space.
How many people visit Oxford Street each day?
Oxford Street is one of the busiest shopping streets in London, attracting 200 million visitors every year. That’s more than half a million people every day!
Its popularity is only expected to grow and within 15 years it’s thought that there could be as many as 290 million people arriving on the street each year to make the most of its more than 300 shops.