.london calling — UK capital secures its own top-level domain

London is set to get its own eponymous generic top-level domain (gTLD), after web address regulator ICANN gave the scheme the green light this week.

The .london addresses will be made available to organizations and people starting in Spring 2014, London & Partners, the city’s promotional agency, announced on Friday. The agency has set up a subsidiary, Dot London Domains, to sell them.

Retailer Selfridges and others, including many tourist attractions, already said they will apply for the new addresses. In a statement, Selfridges interim marketing chief Hazel Kay said that “having a selfridges.london address is an exciting new opportunity to be creative with our web presence while showcasing our strong association with London, which is a key component of our identity.”

Those interested in nailing their web presence to the venerable city can sign up to receive further announcements now. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but a London & Partners spokesman told me it would be at a “slight premium” over traditional .com or indeed .co.uk addresses. He also explained that, during the initial 3-4-month registration period, those signing up will need to have either a London street address or a trademark registered in the EU. After that, it will be a free-for-all.

Other major cities have also been taking advantage of the relatively newfound ability to come up with exotic new gTLDs — New York nailed down .nyc back in July.