Store Harrods

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One of the most bombastic department stores on the planet

Review of Harrods

Originality. Harrods is the best known London department store. A like of Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Harrods occupies a million square feet space packed with over 330 stores, three dozen restaurants, a pharmacy, a spa, a beauty salon, as well as namesake Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, and Harrods Interiors. Apart from the exhaustive range of products offered in the seven-floor department store, Harrods also operates an online store that ships to more than 60 countries worldwide.

As if it were not enough, Harrods owns Harrods Aviation, a provider of FBO services, including air taxi available for those who can afford it. The department store likes to show off its splendid nocturnal illumination with about 12,000 light bulbs turning its outside into a favourite view of amateur photographers.

Product range. Among the labels stocked by the department store are YSL, Acne, Lanvin, Prada, Kenzo, Maison Martin Margiela, and several hundreds more luxury fashion brands. Harrods also runs its own label of clothes branded as Harrods of London. The array of experimental-inclined brands at Harrods is somewhat limited, with the great bulk of the brands being well-established fashion houses. That said, the department store regularly serves as a stocklist for budding British designers that are deemed promising by Harrods' top buyers. To this end, Harrods also established the prestigious Harrods Design Award with Christopher Kane, Sarah Craven, and others among past winners.

Pricing. From a £10,000 fur coat by Escada to a £50 dress by Sandro. Such disparity notwithstanding, expensive luxury pieces well outnumber the rest of the range.

Corporate history highlights. Harrods started out as a modest Knightsbridge tea and groceries store that was opened in 1849 by Charles Henry Harrod. By 1880, Harrods transformed into a major department store by Charles Digby Harrod after acquiring the store from his father in 1860.

On Christmas Eve of 1883, the building of the then up-and-running department store was destroyed to the ground by fire. The calamity notwithstanding, Harrod managed to survive replenishing the stock on loan. By 1903, the business recovered completely with the department store rebuilt.

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