Founded | 1834
Headquarters | ,
Harrods is a that specialises in luxury goods on in , , . The Harrods also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including , , , , and .
The store occupies a 4.5-acre site and has over one million square feet of selling space in over 330 departments. This makes Harrods one of the largest department stores in the world, and the largest in the United Kingdom.
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. The nearest to the store is . An entrance to the station is positioned adjacent to the store.
Fashion plate of 1909 shows upper-class Londoners walking in front of Harrods
Harrods was established in 1834 in London’s , when founder set up a wholesale grocery in , with a special interest in tea. In 1849, to escape the filth of the inner city and to capitalise on trade to the of in nearby , Harrod took over a small shop in the district of , on the site of the current store. Beginning in a single room employing two assistants and a messenger boy, Harrod’s son 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 , 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 , legendary actresses and , , , , and many members of the .
In 1898, Harrods installed what is claimed to be the world's first moving staircase (); nervous customers were offered at the top to revive them after their 'ordeal'.
Significant events in Harrods history
: Charles Henry Harrod (1799-1885) founds a wholesale grocery in Stepney, East London
: Harrods moves to the area of London, near Hyde Park
: Harrods undergoes a transformation when it was taken over by Harrod's son, Charles Digby Harrod (1841-1905)
: On , fire guts the shop buildings, giving the family the opportunity to rebuild on a grander scale
: Andrew Mayo Junior retires, and Harrods shares are floated on the under the name Harrod's Stores Limited
: Begun in , the present building is completed to the design of architect .
: Harrods opens its first and only foreign branch in , . It became independent of Harrods in the late 1940s but still traded under the Harrods name.
: Harrods purchases the department store .
: Harrods purchases the department store, ; 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.
: The British department store holding company, , buys Harrods.
: A high-profile bomb outside the Knightsbridge store kills six people.
: The buy the store for Ј615 million.
: The relationship between House of Fraser and Harrods is severed. Harrods remains under the ownership of the Al-Fayed family, and House of Fraser is floated on the .
: The British court issues an injunction to restrain the Buenos Aires Harrods store from trading under the Harrods name.
: The Harrods "102" store opens opposite the main store on Brompton Road; it features concessions like and , as well as florists, a herbalist, a masseur, and an oxygen spa.
: Omar Al-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.