People already know about London being one of the international hotspots for shopping. Whether you’re looking for high end fashion or cheap thrift shop thrills then London has a district, and a shop for you. It’s clear to say that the range on offer is unparalleled, full of the innovative and the classic. Department stores line high streets like proud badges emblazoned on the shirt of one of the tourist capitals of the world. It’s no wonder Londoners look so well dressed, they have a lot of choice when it comes to their clothes shopping. Guests at accommodation such as the Park Grand Hotel Kensington can shop like a Londoner too, with a short trip to the Knightsbridge area of London where you will find the iconic Harrods department store.
History of Harrods
Set up in 1824, Harrods was created by Charles Henry Harrod, initially selling home furnishing titbits such as linen and drapes. After this, he began to move into the grocery world, moving to various locations across London including Whitecross Street, Borough Street and Cable Street. When the Great Exhibition came along in 1851, Harrod moved once again so as to gain more business from the many international visitors to the city. It was Charles Henry’s son, Charles Digby who created a successful retail business, expanding from groceries and homeware into pharmaceuticals, perfumes and stationery and employing at least 100 people by the year 1880. From then, despite some pitfalls the business expanded into the bustling high profile department store that it is today. Also read Harrods History Visit.
So what’s it like now?
The shop is home to 330 departments, selling a wide range of products including womenswear, menswear, children’s wear alongside the latest in technology, sporting gear and even bridal gear. The company itself was bought by Qatari Holdings for a whopping 1.6 billion pounds in 2010 and since then it has expanded furthermore to include a Disney store within its 5 acres worth of retail space. The shop now has a range of services on site, including a barber shop, a watch repair service, financial services such as a bank where you can even buy gold. On top of this you can also find bathroom design and interior professionals and haute cuisine. Harrods is a department store with luxury services in almost every field you could think of, making it one of the quintessential British retail experiences.
Other Harrods shops
Since being sold to Qatari Holdings, Harrods has expanded to various different locations, including Buenos Ares and a Harrods bank where gold can be bought.
One other draw to the department store is that Harrods is subject to several Royal Warrants. A Royal Warrant refers to an agreement or contract for a certain supplier of goods to supply and tailor specific packages for members of the monarchy. Harrods has gone into such an agreement with royal family members such as Queen Elizabeth for provisions and household goods, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales outfitters.