British retailer Selfridges unveiled hush-hush plans for tweaking their stores in 2013: silent shopping. In January, the high-end department store chain will launch No Noise, a department that discourages unnecessary sound. Need to shriek over a bargain? Take it to H&M.
Upon entering the No Noise area, customers check their shoes and cell phones, WWD reports. It’s an idea the chain’s founder, Harry Gordon Selfridge, experimented with in 1909. Um, maybe there’s a reason why it’s been a century since anyone’s mentioned this?
Merchandise will include “de-branded” products, because heaven forbid you so much as think about an advertisement when you are in this retail Shangri-La. In a weird contradiction, the area will also stock edited designer pieces from Acne, Maison Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Jil Sander and Ann Demeulemeester.
So what’s the point, besides, of course, attention? The store’s creative director, Alanah Weston, explained to WWD that the No Noise department “invites customers to find a moment of peace in a world where we are bombarded by a cacophony of information and stimulation.” But if you are so stressed out about absorbing too much information, do you really think you should be shopping?