LONDON -- Selfridges department store has begun a three-year, $73 million renovation that will increase the size of its women's and men's wear departments by up to 25 percent.

The fashion areas in the 450,000-square-foot store will move closer to the main floor, two new escalators will be installed, and a 12-foot gangway will be constructed on each floor linking the escalators at each end of the building.

This will improve traffic flow through the store and make it easier for customers to find their way around, said Tim Daniels, the store's managing director.

Selfridges is one of London's largest department stores, but total sales per square foot of $704 to $730 annually are low compared with other Oxford Street stores.

A major benefit of the three-year renovation will be a more desirable placement of merchandise. Furniture will be moved off the main floor to the fourth floor, permitting expansion of the first-floor's men's and cosmetics departments and the addition of an area for luxury goods and accessories.

Women's apparel will be concentrated on the second and third floors and increase in size by about 25 percent to 110,000 square feet.

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