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Harrods is a department store located on Brompton Roadmarker in Knightsbridgemarker, London, England. The Harrods brand also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, Harrods Aviation and Air Harrods.

The store occupies a site and has over one million square feet (90,000 m2) of selling space in over 330 departments. This makes Harrods one of the largest department stores in the world together with Macy'smarker New York. The UK's second-biggest shop, Oxford Street's Selfridges, is a little over half the size with of selling space.

The Harrods motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique — All Things for All People, Everywhere. Several of its departments, including the seasonal Christmas department and the Food Hall, are world famous.

Background

Harrods

Fashion plate of 1909 shows upper-class Londoners walking in front of Harrods
Harrods was established in 1834 in London’s East Endmarker, when founder Charles Henry Harrod set up a wholesale grocery in Stepneymarker, with a special interest in tea. In 1849, to escape the filth of the inner city and to capitalise on trade to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in nearby Hyde Parkmarker, Harrod took over a small shop in the district of Knightsbridgemarker, on the site of the current store. Beginning in a single room employing two assistants and a messenger boy, Harrod’s son Charles Digby Harrod built the business into a thriving retail operation selling medicines, perfumes, stationery, fruit, and vegetables. Harrods rapidly expanded, acquired the adjoining buildings, and employed one hundred people by 1880.

However, the store’s booming fortunes were reversed in early December 1883, when it burnt to the ground. Remarkably, in view of this calamity, Charles Harrod fulfilled all of his commitments to his customers to make Christmas deliveries that year — and made a record profit in the process. In short order, a new building was raised on the same site, and soon Harrods extended credit for the first time to its best customers, among them Oscar Wilde, legendary actresses Lillie Langtry and Ellen Terry, Noël Coward, Sigmund Freud, A. A. Milne, and many members of the British Royal Family.

On Wednesday, 16 November 1898, Harrods debuted England's first "moving staircase" (escalator) in their Brompton road stores; the device was actually a woven leather conveyor belt-like unit with a mahogany and "silver plate-glass" balustrade. Nervous customers were offered brandy at the top to revive them after their 'ordeal'.

Significant events in Harrods' history

  • 1834: Charles Henry Harrod (1799-1885) founds a wholesale grocery in Stepney, East London
  • 1849: Harrods moves to the Knightsbridgemarker area of London, near Hyde Parkmarker
  • 1861: Harrods undergoes a transformation when it was taken over by Harrod's son, Charles Digby Harrod (1841-1905)
  • 1883: On 6 December, fire guts the shop buildings, giving the family the opportunity to rebuild on a grander scale
  • 1889: Charles Digby Harrod retires, and Harrods shares are floated on the London Stock Exchange under the name Harrod's Stores Limited
  • 1905: Begun in 1894, the present building is completed to the design of architect Charles William Stephens.
  • 1912: Harrods opens its first and only foreign branch in Buenos Airesmarker, Argentinamarker. It became independent of Harrods in the late 1940s but still traded under the Harrods name usable only in Argentina Harrods Buenos Aires.
  • 1914: Harrods buys the Regent Streetmarker department store Dickins & Jones.
  • 1919: Harrods buys the Manchestermarker department store, Kendalsmarker; it took on the Harrods name for a short time in the 1920s, but the name was changed back to Kendals following protests from staff and customers.
  • 1959: The British department store holding company, House of Fraser, buys Harrods.
  • 1969: Christian the lion was bought by John Rendall and Anthony 'Ace' Bourke. The lion was set free in Kenyamarker after reaching maturity.
  • 1983: A terrorist attackmarker by the Provisional IRA outside the Knightsbridge store kills six people.
  • 1985: The Fayed brothers buy the store for £615 million.
  • 1986: The small town of Otorohangamarker in New Zealand briefly changed its name to Harrodsvillemarker in response to legal threats made by Mohamed Al Fayed against a person with the surname of Harrod, who had used the name "Harrod's" for his shop. Other town businesses changed their store name to Harrod's in support, and the resultant lampooning in the British press led to Al Fayed dropping the legal action.
  • 1990: A Harrods shop opens onboard the RMS Queen Marymarker in Long Beach, which was then owned by the Walt Disney Company.
  • 1994: The relationship between House of Fraser and Harrods is severed. Harrods remains under the ownership of the Fayed family, and House of Fraser is floated on the stock exchange.
  • 1997: The British court issues an injunction to restrain the Buenos Aires Harrods store from trading under the Harrods name.
  • 2006: The Harrods "102" store opens opposite the main store on Brompton Road; it features concessions like Krispy Kreme and Yo! Sushi, as well as florists, a herbalist, a masseur, and an oxygen spa.
  • 2006: Omar Fayed, Mohamed's youngest son, joins the Harrods board.


Products and services

The store's 330 departments offer a wide range of products and services. Products on offer include clothing for every sort of customer (women, men, children, and infants), electronics, jewelery, sporting gear, bridal trousseau, pets and pet accessories, toys, food and drink, health and beauty items, packaged gifts, stationery, housewares, home appliances, furniture, and much more.

A representative sample of store services includes 28 restaurants (number has been questioned by Billy Mc), serving everything from high tea to tapas to pub food to haute cuisine; a personal shopping-assistance programme known as "By Appointment"; a watch repair service; a tailor; a dispensing pharmacy; a beauty spa and salon; a barbers shop; Harrods Financial Services; Harrods Bank; Ella Jade Bathroom Planning and Design Service; private events planning and catering; food delivery; a wine steward; bespoke "picnic" hampers and gift boxes; bespoke cakes; and bespoke fragrance formulations.

Up to 300,000 customers visit the store on peak days, comprising the highest proportion of customers from non-English speaking countries of any department store in London. More than five thousand staff from over fifty different countries work at Harrods. A fleet of fifty delivery vehicles make up to 225,000 deliveries every year. Approximately 11,500 energy-efficient light bulbs turn Harrods into a beacon of light each night, 300 of which are replaced every day.

There are also a number of concessions opposite the main store on Brompton Road in 'Harrods 102' such as Turnbull & Asser, HMV, Waterstones, Krispy Kreme and David Clulow Opticians.

As of the 15 October 2009, Harrods Bank has started selling gold bars and coins that customers can buy "off the shelf". The gold products range from 1g to 12.5 kg, and can be purchased within Harrods Bank. They also offer storage services, as well as the ability to sell back gold to Harrods in the future.

Criticism

Harrods and Mohamed Al Fayed have been criticised for selling real animal fur with regular protests organised outside Harrods. Harrods is the only department store in the UK that has continued to sell fur. Harrods was sharply criticized in 2004 by the Hindu community for marketing a line of feminine underwear (designed by Roberto Cavalli) which featured the images of South-Asian goddesses. The line was eventually withdrawn and formal apologies were made.

Royal warrants



Harrods was the holder of royal warrant from: Harrods had held The Duke of Edinburgh's warrant since 1956, but it was rescinded by Prince Philip on 21 December 2001 because of a "significant decline in the trading relationship" between the duke and the store.

Al Fayed then pre-emptively removed all the royal coats of arms that had been prominently displayed by the business, even though other warrants were yet to expire or be withdrawn. None of the royal grantors of warrants had spent any money at Harrods since 1997, the year Diana, Princess of Wales, died.

Egyptian cobra

On 10 September 2002, Harrods hired a live Egyptian cobra to protect the shoe counter, guarding a £62,000 (€84,880) pair of haute couture ruby-, sapphire- and diamond-encrusted sandals launched by designer Rene Caovilla.

Memorials

"Innocent Victims", the second of two memorials in Harrods
Since the deathsmarker of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed, Mohamed Al Fayed's son, two memorials commissioned by Al Fayed have been erected inside Harrods to the couple. The first, unveiled on 12 April 1998, consists of photographs of the two behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass still smudged with lipstick from Diana's last dinner as well as what is described as an engagement ring Dodi purchased the day before they died.

The second memorial, unveiled in 2005 and located by the Egyptian escalator at door three is titled "Innocent Victims", is a bronze statue of the two dancing on a beach beneath the wings of an albatross. The albatross is a bird that is said to symbolise the "Holy Spirit". The sculpture was created by 80 year old Bill Mitchell who is a close friend of Al Fayed and has been the artistic design advisor to Harrods for 40 years. Mr Al Fayed said he wanted to keep the pair's "spirit alive" through the statue.

After the death of Michael Jackson, Al-Fayed announced that they had already been discussing plans to build a memorial statue of the singer.

Floor Directory

5th floor 4th floor 3rd floor 2nd floor
Sport & Leisure

1 Team Sports Equipment & Apparel

2 Grand Prix Memorabilia

3 MBT Shoes

4 Fitness Studio Equipment & Apparel

5 Riding Equipment & Apparel

6 Outdoor Apparel

7 Designer Sportswear

8 Tennis Equipment & Apparel

9 Golf Equipment & Apparel

10 Ski & Swimwear

11 Bicycles and Skateboards

12 Sports Fashions Shoes

13 Running Shoes & Apparel

14 Power Plate Studio

15 Sunglasses

Beauty

16 Urban Retreat at Harrods

17 Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie

Services

18 Harrods Financial Services

19 Rewards Card Services

20 Bullet Proof Clothing (Miguel Caballero)

Restaurants & Cafes

1 East Dulwich Deli

2 Illy L'Espresso
Childrenswear

1 Children's Formalwear

2 School Uniforms

3 Children's Designerwear

4 Children's Designer Boutiques (0–10 years)

5 Baby Apparel (0–3 years)

6 Children's Shoes

7 Junior Collections (10–16 years)

8 Children's International Designer

9 Baby Shop

10 Nursery Furniture

11 Outdoor Fun

Toys

12 Children's Books

13 Soft Toys

14 Pre-school Toys & Dolls

15 Concept Toys

16 Trains & Remote Control Cars

17 Pet Kingdom

Womenswear

18 Way In (trend fashion) and Sunglasses

19 Women's Shoes

Services

20 Toy Enquiries

21 Export Bureau Lounge

Restaurants & Cafes

1 Georgian Restaurant

2 Terrace Bar

3 Planet Harrodsi

4 Mo's Diner

5 Andronicas World of Coffee
Furniture

1 The Bedroom Studio (opens October 2009)

2 Fitted Furniture

3 Antiques Summer Exhibition

4 Bo Concept Furniture

5 Ligne Roset Furniture

6 Contemporary Furniture

7 Designer Gallery

8 Ralph Lauren

9 Roche Bobois

10 Natuzzi Studio

11 Modern Furniture

12 Traditional Furniture

13 Bed Studio

Home Entertainment

14 Osim Massage

15 Pianos & Musical Instruments

16 Waterstone's (books & magazines)

17 HMV (music, DVDs & games)

18 Vodafone Mobile Phones

19 Micro Anvika Computers

20 Audio Visual Experience

21 Photographic Equipment

22 Sony Galleria
LG Lounge
Harrods Sound & Vision
Loewe Televisions


Accessories

23 Lighting

24 Fossil & mineral Gallery

25 Fitted Carpets

26 Furnishing Fabrics

Services

27 Interior Design Studio

Restaurants & Cafes

1 Caffè Florian

Tableware

1 Crystal & Glass

2 CHINA & GLASS CLEARANCE

3 Fine China & Porcelain

4 Luxury Dining

5 Traditional Dining

6 Contemporary Dining & Flamant

7 Silver Room

Home Decoration

8 Luxury Gift & Object Room

9 Old Maps and Prints

10 Castle Galleries

11 ABC Carpet (rugs)

12 Christmas World

Bed & Bath

13 Bed Linens

14 Comfort Zone (duvets & pillows)

15 Towels

16 Bathshop

17 Ella Jade Bathroom Design Serivce

Kitchenware

18 Cookshop

19 Designer Kitches & Coffee Boutique

20 Home Appliances

Accessories

21 Travel Goods & Luggage

Services

22 Weddings & Occasions (gift list service)

Restaurants & Cafes

1 Café Harrods

2 Ishbilia Lebanese

3 Harrods Chocolate Bar

1st floor Ground floor Lower Ground floor
Women's Shoes

1 Women's Designer Shoes

2 Shoe Boudoir

Womenswear

3 Weekend Room

4 International Designer Rooms

5 Designer Studio

6 Swim

7 Designer Colletions

8 International Classics

9 Modern Classics

10 Millinery

11 Designer Plus

12 Luxury Collections

13 Evening

14 The Wedding Dress Botique by Pronovias

15 Lingerie

Services

16 By Appointment Personal Shopping

Restaurants & Cafes

1 Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar & Restaurant

Menswear

1 Men's Tailoring

2 Men's Fragrance

3 Men's Designerwear

4 Polo Ralph Lauren

5 Cigar Shop

6 Men's Shoes & Accessories

Beauty

7 Cosmetics

8 Perfumery

9 Sunglasses

10 Lifestyle Beauty

11 Beauty Apothecary

Food Halls

12 Charcuterie, Fromagerie & Traiteur

13 Fruit & Vegetables

14 Pantry

15 Bakery

16 Candy Shop

17 Tea & Coffee

18 Confectionery & Patisserie

19 Meat, Fish & Poultry

Harrods Souvenirs

20 Harrods Arcade

Fine Jewellery

21 Fine Jewellery & Watch Room

Fashion Accessories

22 Room of Luxury I & II (handbags)

23 Egyptian Hall (handbags)

24 Designer Jewellery

25 Designer Watches

26 Scarves, Gloves & Hats

27 Hoisery & Umbrellas

Services

28 Safe Deposit

29 Hampers / Food Orders Desk

30 Florist

Restaurants & Cafes

1 5J - The Iberico Ham House

2 Xin Dim Sum Bar

3 Sushi Bar

4 Caffè Espresso

5 Rotisserie

6 Harry Morgan Salt Beef Bar

7 Caviar House Oyster Bar

8 Sea Grill

9 Caviar House Seafood Bar

10 Krispy Kreme

11 Morelli's Gelato

12 Pizzeria

13 Ladurée Tea Room & Pavement Café

Menswear

1 Men's Contemporary & Casual Collections

2 Men's Grooming

3 Men's Designer Shoes

4 Underwear & Nightwear

5 Shirts & Ties

6 Tom Ford

Food Halls

7 Wine Shop

8 Cigar Shop

9 Harrods Pharmacy

Harrods Souvenirs

10 Harrods Gift Shop

Fashion Accessories

11 Egyptian Hall (handbags)

Stationery & Gifts

12 The Writing Room

13 Stationery & Games

14 Cards, Gifts & Wrapping

Services

15 Wrapology (gift wrapping service)

16 Rewards Card Services

17 Karim Fayed Hearing Centre

18 Harrods Gold Bullion

19 Harrods Bank

20 Customer Services

21 Abercrombie & Kent Private Travel

22 Opticians

23 Tax Free Shopping Bureau

24 Ticket Bureau

25 Watch & Jewellery After Sales Service

26 Lost Property

27 Dodi & Diana Memorial

28 Post Box

29 By Appointment Personal Shopping

30 Left Luggage

31 The Refinery (men's grooming)

Restaurants & Cafes

1 Green Man Pub

2 Tapas Bar

3 Ca'puccino



Transport Links

Public transport access
London Buses Harrods 14, 74,414, C1
London Underground Knightsbridgemarker


Further reading



See also



References

Notes:
  1. [1] www.mbtmvp.com (history)
  2. "The First Moving Staircase in England." The Drapers' Record, 19 Nov. 1898: 465.
  3. [www.mbtmvp.com] Harrods history (escalator)
  4. [2] www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk
  5. [3] www.mbtmvp.com (Press release)
  6. [4] www.mbtmvp.com
  7. [5] www.mbtmvp.com
  8. Rick Steves, Getting Up To Snuff In London, /www.ricksteves.com.
  9. Harrods unveils Diana, Dodi statue, CNN.com, 1 September 2005.
  10. Diana bronze unveiled at Harrods BBC 1 September 2005
References:



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