Harrods
Overview
Harrods is an upmarket department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

 located in Brompton Road
Brompton Road
Brompton Road is a street in Knightsbridge, London, in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea .It starts from Knightsbridge tube station and runs south-west through an extremely wealthy residential area until it reaches Egerton Gardens and the area to the east of South Kensington tube station...

 in Brompton
Brompton
A Brompton, Brompton, or The Brompton can be:* Brompton, London, England* Brompton Oratory, a Catholic church* Brompton Bicycle, the largest bicycle manufacturer in the United Kingdom* Holy Trinity Brompton Church, an Anglican church...

, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. The Harrods brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

 also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank
Harrods Bank
Harrods Bank Limited is a private personalized banking service which operates from the Harrods store in Knightsbridge. Harrods Bank was started in 1893...

, Harrods Estates
Harrods Estates
Harrods Estates are a London based estate agents which offer services for buying, renting and managing property. Harrods Estates was started in 1897 and has expanded gradually since then. In 2005 a second office was opened in Mayfair.-External links:*...

, Harrods Aviation
Harrods Aviation
Harrods Aviation Limited is a service provider for business and corporate aviation in the United Kingdom with bases at London Luton Airport and London Stansted Airport.- See also :* Harrods* Harrods Bank...

 and Air Harrods
Air Harrods
Air Harrods Limited is the aircraft charter arm of the Mohamed Al Fayed owned Harrods company. Based at London Stansted Airport, Air Harrods operates a fleet of helicopters liveried in green and gold; colours commonly associated with the Harrods name...

, and to Harrods Buenos Aires
Harrods Buenos Aires
Harrods Buenos Aires is a historic commercial building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, formerly a branch of Harrods of London.- History :Established in 1914 on 877 Florida Street as the only overseas branch of the renowned Harrods of London, the department store was expanded in 1920, and grew to occupy...

, sold by Harrods in 1922 and closed , with plans announced to reopen in 2013.

The store occupies a 5 acres (20,234.3 m²) site and has over one million square feet of selling space in over 330 departments.
Encyclopedia
Harrods is an upmarket department store
Department store
A department store is a retail establishment which satisfies a wide range of the consumer's personal and residential durable goods product needs; and at the same time offering the consumer a choice of multiple merchandise lines, at variable price points, in all product categories...

 located in Brompton Road
Brompton Road
Brompton Road is a street in Knightsbridge, London, in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea .It starts from Knightsbridge tube station and runs south-west through an extremely wealthy residential area until it reaches Egerton Gardens and the area to the east of South Kensington tube station...

 in Brompton
Brompton
A Brompton, Brompton, or The Brompton can be:* Brompton, London, England* Brompton Oratory, a Catholic church* Brompton Bicycle, the largest bicycle manufacturer in the United Kingdom* Holy Trinity Brompton Church, an Anglican church...

, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. The Harrods brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

 also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank
Harrods Bank
Harrods Bank Limited is a private personalized banking service which operates from the Harrods store in Knightsbridge. Harrods Bank was started in 1893...

, Harrods Estates
Harrods Estates
Harrods Estates are a London based estate agents which offer services for buying, renting and managing property. Harrods Estates was started in 1897 and has expanded gradually since then. In 2005 a second office was opened in Mayfair.-External links:*...

, Harrods Aviation
Harrods Aviation
Harrods Aviation Limited is a service provider for business and corporate aviation in the United Kingdom with bases at London Luton Airport and London Stansted Airport.- See also :* Harrods* Harrods Bank...

 and Air Harrods
Air Harrods
Air Harrods Limited is the aircraft charter arm of the Mohamed Al Fayed owned Harrods company. Based at London Stansted Airport, Air Harrods operates a fleet of helicopters liveried in green and gold; colours commonly associated with the Harrods name...

, and to Harrods Buenos Aires
Harrods Buenos Aires
Harrods Buenos Aires is a historic commercial building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, formerly a branch of Harrods of London.- History :Established in 1914 on 877 Florida Street as the only overseas branch of the renowned Harrods of London, the department store was expanded in 1920, and grew to occupy...

, sold by Harrods in 1922 and closed , with plans announced to reopen in 2013.

The store occupies a 5 acres (20,234.3 m²) site and has over one million square feet of selling space in over 330 departments. The UK's second-biggest shop, Oxford Street's Selfridges
Selfridges
Selfridges, AKA Selfridges & Co, is a chain of high end department stores in the United Kingdom. It was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge. The flagship store in London's Oxford Street is the second largest shop in the UK and was opened on 15 March 1909.More recently, three other stores have been...

, is a little over half the size with 540000 square feet (50,167.6 m²) 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.

Throughout its history, the store has had a total of five owners. On 8 May 2010, Mohamed Al-Fayed
Mohamed Al-Fayed
Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al-Fayed is an Egyptian businessman and billionaire. Amongst his business interests are ownership of the English Premiership football team Fulham Football Club, Hôtel Ritz Paris and formerly Harrods Department Store, Knightsbridge...

 sold the store to Qatar Holdings
Qatar Investment Authority
The Qatar Investment Authority is Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, specializing in domestic and foreign investment. It was founded in 2005 to manage the oil and natural gas surpluses by the Government of Qatar...

 for .

History

Harrods founder Charles Henry Harrod
Charles Henry Harrod
Charles Henry Harrod was a businessman involved in retail trade who founded the highly successful Harrods store in London.-Career:...

 first established his business in 1824, aged 25. The business was located south of the River Thames in Southwark
Southwark
Southwark is a district of south London, England, and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Southwark. Situated east of Charing Cross, it forms one of the oldest parts of London and fronts the River Thames to the north...

. The premises were located at 228 Borough High Street. He ran this business, variously listed as a Draper, Mercer and Haberdasher, certainly until 1831. During 1825 the business was listed as 'Harrod and Wicking, Linen Drapers, Retail', but this partnership was dissolved at the end of that year. His first grocery business appears to be as ‘Harrod & Co.Grocers’ at 163 Upper Whitecross Street, Clerkenwell, E.C.1., in 1832.
In 1834 in London's East End, he established a wholesale grocery in Stepney
Stepney
Stepney is a district of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in London's East End that grew out of a medieval village around St Dunstan's church and the 15th century ribbon development of Mile End Road...

, at 4, Cable Street, with a special interest in tea. In 1849, to escape the vice of the inner city and to capitalise on trade to the Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations or The Great Exhibition, sometimes referred to as the Crystal Palace Exhibition in reference to the temporary structure in which it was held, was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 15 October...

 of 1851 in nearby Hyde Park
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

, Harrod took over a small shop in the district of Brompton
Brompton
A Brompton, Brompton, or The Brompton can be:* Brompton, London, England* Brompton Oratory, a Catholic church* Brompton Bicycle, the largest bicycle manufacturer in the United Kingdom* Holy Trinity Brompton Church, an Anglican church...

, 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
Charles Digby Harrod
Charles Digby Harrod was an English merchant who expanded Harrods in London into a department store after his father, Charles Henry Harrod had retired....

 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 built on the same site, and soon Harrods extended credit for the first time to its best customers, among them Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

, Lillie Langtry
Lillie Langtry
Lillie Langtry , usually spelled Lily Langtry when she was in the U.S., born Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, was a British actress born on the island of Jersey...

, Ellen Terry
Ellen Terry
Dame Ellen Terry, GBE was an English stage actress who became the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain. Among the members of her famous family is her great nephew, John Gielgud....

, Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

, Noël Coward
Noël Coward
Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Coward attended a dance academy...

, Gertrude Lawrence
Gertrude Lawrence
Gertrude Lawrence was an English actress, singer and musical comedy performer known for her stage appearances in the West End theatre district of London and on Broadway.-Early life:...

, Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 and Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier was an English actress. She won the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire , a role she also played on stage in London's West End, as well as for her portrayal of the southern belle Scarlett O'Hara, alongside Clark...

, Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

, A. A. Milne
A. A. Milne
Alan Alexander Milne was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work.-Biography:A. A...

, and many members of the British Royal Family.

On Wednesday, 16 November 1898, Harrods debuted England's first "moving staircase" (escalator
Escalator
An escalator is a moving staircase – a conveyor transport device for carrying people between floors of a building. The device consists of a motor-driven chain of individual, linked steps that move up or down on tracks, allowing the step treads to remain horizontal.Escalators are used around the...

) 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
Brandy
Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink...

 at the top to revive them after their 'ordeal'. The department store was purchased by the Fayed brothers in 1985.

2010 sale

Following denial that it was for sale, Harrods was sold to Qatar Holdings
Qatar Investment Authority
The Qatar Investment Authority is Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, specializing in domestic and foreign investment. It was founded in 2005 to manage the oil and natural gas surpluses by the Government of Qatar...

, the sovereign wealth fund
Sovereign wealth fund
A sovereign wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund composed of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, property, precious metals or other financial instruments. Sovereign wealth funds invest globally. Some of them have grabbed attention making bad investments in several Wall Street financial...

 of the State of Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

 in May 2010. A fortnight previously, Al-Fayed had stated that "People approach us from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar. Fair enough. But I put two fingers up to them. It is not for sale. This is not Marks and Spencer or Sainsbury's. It is a special place that gives people pleasure. There is only one Mecca."

The sale was concluded in the early hours of 8 May, when Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani
Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani
style="float:right;"| Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani is a Qatari politician and the current Prime Minister of Qatar, a position he has held since 3 April 2007, and Foreign Minister, which he has been since 11 January 1992.-Life and education:Sheikh Hamad was born in Doha,...

 came to London to finalise the deal, saying that the acquisition of Harrods would add "much value" to the investment portfolio of Qatar Holdings while his deputy, Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla, called it a "landmark transaction". A spokesman for Al-Fayed said "in reaching the decision to retire, [Fayed] wished to ensure that the legacy and traditions that he has built up in Harrods would be continued." Harrods was sold for £1.5 billion; half of the sale will be used to pay bank debts of £625 million.

Al-Fayed later revealed in an interview that he decided to sell Harrods following the difficulty in getting his dividend
Dividend
Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholder members. It is the portion of corporate profits paid out to stockholders. When a corporation earns a profit or surplus, that money can be put to two uses: it can either be re-invested in the business , or it can be distributed to...

 approved by the trustee of the Harrods pension fund. Al-Fayed said "I'm here every day, I can't take my profit because I have to take a permission of those bloody idiots...I say is this right? Is this logic? Somebody like me? I run a business and I need to take bloody fucking trustee's permission to take my profit" Al-Fayed was appointed honorary chairman of Harrods, a position he will hold for at least six months.

Significant event timeline

  • 1824: Charles Henry Harrod starts his first business as a Draper, at 228, Borough High Street, Southwark, London.
  • 1834: Charles Henry Harrod (1799–1885) founds a wholesale grocery in Stepney, East London
  • 1849: Harrods moves to the Brompton
    Brompton
    A Brompton, Brompton, or The Brompton can be:* Brompton, London, England* Brompton Oratory, a Catholic church* Brompton Bicycle, the largest bicycle manufacturer in the United Kingdom* Holy Trinity Brompton Church, an Anglican church...

     area of London, near Hyde Park
    Hyde Park, London
    Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

  • 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
    London Stock Exchange
    The London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London within the United Kingdom. , the Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$3.7495 trillion, making it the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world by this measurement...

     under the name Harrod's Stores Limited
  • 1905: Begun in 1894, the present building is completed to the design of architect Charles William Stephens.
  • 1914: Harrods opens its first and only foreign branch in Buenos Aires
    Buenos Aires
    Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

    , Argentina
    Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

    . It became independent of Harrods in the late 1940s but still traded under the Harrods name usable only in Argentina Harrods Buenos Aires
    Harrods Buenos Aires
    Harrods Buenos Aires is a historic commercial building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, formerly a branch of Harrods of London.- History :Established in 1914 on 877 Florida Street as the only overseas branch of the renowned Harrods of London, the department store was expanded in 1920, and grew to occupy...

    .
  • 1914: Harrods buys the Regent Street
    Regent Street
    Regent Street is one of the major shopping streets in London's West End, well known to tourists and Londoners alike, and famous for its Christmas illuminations...

     department store Dickins & Jones.
  • 1919: Harrods buys the Manchester
    Manchester
    Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

     department store, Kendals
    Kendals
    Kendals, Kendal Milne, Kendal, Milne & Co, Kendal, Milne & Faulkner or Watts' was the name of a department store in Manchester, England.-History:...

    ; 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
    House of Fraser
    House of Fraser is a British department store group with over 60 stores across the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was established in Glasgow, Scotland in 1849 as Arthur and Fraser. By 1891 it was known as Fraser & Sons. The company grew steadily during the early 20th century, but after the Second...

    , buys Harrods.
  • 1969: Christian the lion
    Christian the lion
    Christian was a lion originally purchased by Australians John Rendall and Anthony "Ace" Bourke from Harrods department store of London, England in 1969 and ultimately reintroduced to the African wild by conservationist George Adamson. One year after George Adamson released Christian to the wild,...

     was bought by John Rendall and Anthony 'Ace' Bourke. The lion
    Lion
    The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

     was set free in Kenya
    Kenya
    Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

     after reaching maturity.
  • 1983: A terrorist attack
    Harrods bombing
    The Harrods bombing was a car bombing that occurred at Harrods department store in London on 17 December 1983. The bomb had been planted by members of the Provisional IRA, although the IRA Army Council claimed that it had not authorised the attack. The IRA members had sent a warning 37 minutes...

     by the Provisional IRA
    Provisional Irish Republican Army
    The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

     outside the Brompton store kills six people.
  • 1985: The Fayed brothers
    Mohamed Al-Fayed
    Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al-Fayed is an Egyptian businessman and billionaire. Amongst his business interests are ownership of the English Premiership football team Fulham Football Club, Hôtel Ritz Paris and formerly Harrods Department Store, Knightsbridge...

     buy House of Fraser including Harrods Store for .
  • 1986: The small town of Otorohanga
    Otorohanga
    Otorohanga is a north King Country town at the southern end of the Waikato region in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located 53 kilometres south of Hamilton and 18 kilometres north of Te Kuiti, on the Waipa River...

     in New Zealand briefly changed its name to Harrodsville
    Otorohanga
    Otorohanga is a north King Country town at the southern end of the Waikato region in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located 53 kilometres south of Hamilton and 18 kilometres north of Te Kuiti, on the Waipa River...

     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 Fayed dropping the legal action.
  • 1990: A Harrods shop opens onboard the RMS Queen Mary
    RMS Queen Mary
    RMS Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner that sailed primarily in the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line...

     in Long Beach, California
    Long Beach, California
    Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

    , which was then owned by the Walt Disney Company. Harrods gives right to Duty Free International for a licence to operate a Harrods Signature Shop at Toronto Pearson International Airport
    Toronto Pearson International Airport
    Toronto Pearson International Airport is an international airport serving Toronto, Ontario, Canada; its metropolitan area; and the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration that is home to 8.1 million people – approximately 25% of Canada's population...

    's Terminal 3 (closed shortly after)
  • 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
    Stock exchange
    A stock exchange is an entity that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade stocks, bonds, and other securities. Stock exchanges also provide facilities for issue and redemption of securities and other financial instruments, and capital events including the payment of income and...

    .
  • 1997: The British court issues an injunction to restrain the Buenos Aires Harrods store from trading under the Harrods name.
  • 2000: A Harrods shop opens onboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
    RMS Queen Elizabeth 2
    Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as the QE2, is an ocean liner that was operated by Cunard from 1969 to 2008. Following her retirement from cruising, she is now owned by Istithmar...

    , owned by the Cunard Line
    Cunard Line
    Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based at Carnival House in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival UK. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century...

    .
  • 2006: The Harrods "102" shop opens opposite the main shop in Brompton Road; it features concessions like Krispy Kreme
    Krispy Kreme
    Krispy Kreme is the name of an international chain of doughnut stores that was founded by Vernon Rudolph in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The parent company of Krispy Kreme is Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc...

     and Yo! Sushi
    Yo! Sushi
    YO! Sushi is a British restaurant chain which was started in 1997 and is owned by Quilvest and the YO! Sushi Senior Management team. YO! Sushi specialises in delivering sushi to customers using the Japanese style 'kaiten' conveyor belt method...

    , as well as florists, a herbalist, a masseur, and an oxygen spa.
  • 2006: Omar Fayed, Mohamed's youngest son, joins the Harrods board.
  • 2010: Qatar Holdings
    Qatar Investment Authority
    The Qatar Investment Authority is Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, specializing in domestic and foreign investment. It was founded in 2005 to manage the oil and natural gas surpluses by the Government of Qatar...

     become the new owners of Harrods, after Fayed announces he has sold the shop. It had been reported that Qatar Holdings paid for the Brompton store, in a deal signed in the early hours of 8 May 2010.
  • 2010: Harrods looks at the possibility of expanding to China and opening a new shop in Shanghai
    Shanghai
    Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

    . Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods, said, "There are other areas of the world where we could operate profitably." Chinese shoppers in Harrods is increasing, and the average spent by a Chinese shopper is three times that of any other nationality.

Products and services

The shop's 330 departments offer a wide range of products and services. Products on offer include clothing for women, men, children and infants, electronics, jewellery, sporting gear, bridal trousseau
Trousseau
Trousseau may refer to:*A dowry*The outfit of a bride, including the wedding dress or similar clothing*A name for the Bastardo grape in some regions*A white mutation of the Trousseau grape, known as Trousseau Gris...

, 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 shop services includes 32 restaurants, serving everything from high tea to tapas
Tapas
Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold or warm ....

 to pub food to haute cuisine
Haute cuisine
Haute cuisine or grande cuisine was characterised by French cuisine in elaborate preparations and presentations served in small and numerous courses that were produced by large and hierarchical staffs at the grand restaurants and hotels of Europe.The 17th century chef and writer La Varenne...

; 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
Bespoke
Bespoke is a term employed in a variety of applications to mean an item custom-made to the buyer's specification...

 "picnic" hampers and gift boxes; bespoke cakes; and bespoke fragrance formulations.

Up to 300,000 customers visit the shop 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.

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 to , 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.

Royal warrants

Harrods was the holder of royal warrant
Royal Warrant
Royal warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to those who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the royal family, so lending prestige to the supplier...

s from:
  • Queen Elizabeth II
    Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
    Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

     for Provisions and Household Goods
  • The Duke of Edinburgh
    Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
    Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

     as Outfitters
  • The Prince of Wales
    Charles, Prince of Wales
    Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

     as Outfitters and Saddlers
  • The Queen Mother
    Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
    Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

    , now deceased, for China and Glass


In August 2010, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, Al-Fayed revealed that he had burnt Harrods royal warrants
Royal Warrant of Appointment (United Kingdom)
Royal warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to those who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the royal family, so lending prestige to the supplier...

, after taking them down in 2000. Harrods had held the Royal warrants since 1910. Describing the warrants as a "curse", Al-Fayed claimed that business had tripled since their removal. The Duke of Edinburgh removed his warrant in January 2000, the other warrants were removed from Harrods by Al-Fayed in December, pending their five yearly review. The Duke of Edinburgh had been banned from Harrods by Al-Fayed. Film of the burning of the warrants in 2009 was shown in the final scene of Unlawful Killing a film funded by Al-Fayed and directed by Keith Allen.

Memorials

Since the deaths
Death of Diana, Princess of Wales
On 31 August 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Her companion, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz W140, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Fayed's...

 of Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

, and Dodi Al-Fayed
Dodi Al-Fayed
Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed , known as Dodi Fayed , was an Egyptian film producer. He was best known internationally as the boyfriend of Diana, Princess of Wales, with whom he died in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris along with driver Henri Paul on 31 August...

, 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 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
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

, Al-Fayed announced that they had already been discussing plans to build a memorial statue of the singer. The statue of Michael Jackson has now been created, but will now be placed at Craven Cottage
Craven Cottage
Craven Cottage is the name of a football stadium in the Hammersmith and Fulham area that has been the home ground of the association football team Fulham F.C. since 1896....

 football ground following the sale of Harrods.

Dress code

Since 1989 Harrods has a dress code policy and has turned away several people who it believes are not dressed appropriately. These include a soldier in uniform, a scout troop
Scout troop
The Scout troop is a unit of Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts that usually meet weekly. Girl Guides often use Unit or Company instead. The troop is the fundamental unit, which a Scout joins and via which he or she participates in Scouting activities, such as camping, backpacking, and...

, a woman with a mohican hair cut
Mohawk hairstyle
The mohawk is a hairstyle in which, in the most common variety, both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair...

, a fifteen stone woman and FC Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Shakhtar Donetsk is a Ukrainian professional football club from the city of Donetsk. Shakhtar has appeared in several European competitions and currently is often a participant of the UEFA Champions League. The club became the first Ukrainian club to win the UEFA Cup in 2009, the last year...

's first team for wearing tracksuits.

Criticism

Harrods and Mohamed Fayed have been criticised for selling real animal fur with regular protests organised outside Harrods. Harrods is the only department store in Britain that has continued to sell fur. Harrods was sharply criticised in 2004 by the Hindu community for marketing a line of feminine underwear (designed by Roberto Cavalli
Roberto Cavalli
Roberto Cavalli is an Italian fashion designer from Florence.-Biography:Roberto Cavalli was born in Florence, Tuscany. His grandfather, Giuseppe Rossi, was a member of the Macchiaioli Movement, whose work is exhibited in the Uffizi Gallery. Cavalli decided to enroll at the local Art Institute,...

) which featured the images of South-Asian goddesses. The line was eventually withdrawn and formal apologies were made. Harrods has been criticised as "deeply sexist" for making female employees wear six kinds of makeup at all time without requiring this of male employees.

See also

  • Harrods Buenos Aires
    Harrods Buenos Aires
    Harrods Buenos Aires is a historic commercial building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, formerly a branch of Harrods of London.- History :Established in 1914 on 877 Florida Street as the only overseas branch of the renowned Harrods of London, the department store was expanded in 1920, and grew to occupy...

  • Jenners
    Jenners
    Jenners Department Store, now known simply as Jenners, is a department store located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was the oldest independent department store in Scotland until its acquisition by House of Fraser in 2005.- History :...

    , known as the "Harrods of the North"


External links

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