“Tout, partout, pour tout le monde”, bienvenue à HARRODS !
Véritable temple de l’opulence et du spectacle, il s’agit du plus grand magasin chic de Londres. Situé dans un des quartiers les plus huppés de la capitale britannique, le magasin propose un large choix de produits, du dernier iPhone de chez Apple, à la montre de chez Cartier qui vous fait tant rêver.
Attention, gare aux trous dans le porte-monnaie.
It all started in 1849, when Charles Henry Harrod, a grocer, repurchased business funds, on Brompton Road, in London. The grocery store, Harrod’s, only had 3 full-time employees but this number increased to 200 by 1880. Following a fire, on December 6, 1883, the store was entirely rebuilt: it became much bigger and more attractive. But the real transformation came with Richard Burbidge, managing director, in 1891 as he multiplied the number of employees by 10, had a “Reno inclined Elevator” (future escalator) installed, developed banking and created a real-estate agency.
15 million people visite the store, each year. Harrods managed to carve out a place for itself. It became an economic player with the development of the brand: Harrods (Harrods Bank, Harrods Estate, Harrods Casino) and its worldwide distribution. It also achieved notoriety for being the “Royal warrant holder” for its china, food, clothes… But after the car accident of Lady Di and Dodi Al-Fayed (the CEO’s son) in 1997, the Royal Family cut the contract. Mohammed Al-Fayed, CEO since 1985, removed all trace of the old alliance.
But with the acquisition of Harrods by a major Qatari investor in 2010, who wants to put in the tradition department store, a new union will be possible.
At the heart of this store, there are 7 floors and more than 330 departments. Some of these departments have a worldwide reputation. For example the one dedicated to Christmas. So, they set up a lot of resources to compete with other stores in the world such as the Galeries Lafayette in France. For example, in 2012, they put up a Christmas campaign entitled “Once upon a Dream” which celebrated Christmas with windows which represented fairy tale characters like Sleeping Beauty or Beauty and the Beast. The characters were dressed by big designers like Oskar de la Renta or Versace.
More than a store, Harrods is a world-famous institution at the heart of London tourism.
Tourists go see the 2.4m bronze sculpture that pays tribute to Lady di and Dodi Al-Fayed (the son of the owner) who both died in a tragic car accident in Paris. The sculpture built forms a frame surmounted by a bird with the portraits of Princess Diana and Dadi Al-Fayed.
The store also attracts visitors because they are dazzled by the architecture of the building built in the Art Nouveau style.
Do you want to treat yourself to beautiful things? You should know that on June 15, Harrods organises its summer sales! And to launch its summer sales, the store is to launch a competition. To participate, you need just recognise one of its famous green men, that will be distributed throughout the city. You can win £1,000 voucher to spend at Harrods!
But beware, backpacks, jeans and trainers are not allowed in the store. You must dress up to get in!
Célia HAMMOUR & Jeanne PILON