Award-winning actor Jeremy Piven (Entourage) leads the cast as American entrepreneur, Harry Gordon Selfridge, in new drama Mr Selfridge, about the life of the flamboyant and visionary American entrepreneur.
Harry and Rose are hosting a dinner in honour of friends Frank and Jennie Woolworth. There is much Harry has in common with Frank Woolworth - a fellow American retail tycoon and founder of the famous High Street chain. A Woolworth’s store is soon opening in Brixton, and when Frank muses of a possible West End branch – Harry’s feathers become really ruffled.
Harry wants to make a statement in reaffirming that Selfridge’s is open to everyone and anyone – just like Woolworth’s. When he orders spot reductions on different merchandise, Miss Mardle suggests they make an event of it: why don’t they hold a ‘mid-season’ sale? Harry loves the idea. He wants window displays, and to double advertising space. He is convinced that Woolworth is stealing a march on him, and he’s determined to stop him.
Lady Mae is keen to introduce young Rosalie to some eligible young Society men. At first, Rose isn’t sure – she wants Rosalie to marry for love when the time comes, not social position or for money. However, she is soon swayed. Lady Mae is hosting a soiree the next evening, and invites Rosalie along.
After Agnes moved to the Ladies’ Fashion department, Kitty and Doris are left to vie for the vacant position of Senior Assistant in Accessories – and they will soon be interviewed by Mr Grove. As per his promise to Doris – who brought Miss Bunting’s plight to his attention – Grove asks Mr Selfridge if he will consider giving Miss Bunting a reference since she’s fallen on such hard times. But Harry is indignant; he will not give a reference to a dishonest person. Grove breaks this to Doris during her job interview, during which she inadvertently reveals that her main ambition in life is to marry and have a family – which strikes a surprisingly emotional chord with Grove.
Ellen Love makes a surprise visit to the Palm Court, with Tony Travers (Lady Mae’s former lover) on her arm. When they run into Harry, things are awkward - it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since Harry’s accident and Ellen’s overdose. They invite Harry to a new play Tony has written. It opens in a few weeks – and Ellen is starring in it.
Victor has a proposition for Lady Mae. A restaurant has come up in Windmill Street, and he wants her to back him. He makes her delicious Italian ice cream, which she agrees to showcase at her soiree that evening – but she will not back him in his venture. She will not be rushed, and stonewalls him.
Lady Mae’s soiree proves eventful when Harry bumps into Frank Woolworth, who seems to be taking the evening by storm – it’s like he’s really vying for Harry’s crown. Later, Rose gets a shock when she comes upon Rosalie in a quiet room talking to a young man… Roddy Temple! It’s clear Roddy still harbours feelings for Rose, which she is keen to dispel.
Agnes goes for a romantic supper at Henri’s, listens to opera, and is truly swept away by his seductive charm and stays the night. It was her first time. The next morning, Agnes takes him to Spitalfields market to inspire him for the Midseason Sale shop windows. Agnes arrives home to find Victor waiting for her. He feels low after being let down by Lady Mae, and she cheers him up, giving him a new lease of new confidence.
On Sunday morning, the Selfridge family head to church, but Rosalie stays at home claiming illness. When Rose comes back early, she’s angry and perturbed to find Rosalie alone with Roddy – who’s giving her a drawing lesson. Rose questions the propriety of this lesson, throwing Roddy out and asking him to never return.