The history of Harrods, London.

Founded in the 19th century as a family tea and grocery shop, the Harrods department store has grown into a globally recognized brand. By selling celebrity products, food, and every household good you may think, Harrods has become one of the largest department stores, maintaining its signature green bag. However the journey was not smooth sailing in Knightsbridge when the store was being established, read on to find out how.

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Founding of the Store

 

The store was founded by Charles Henry Harrod in 1849 in Knightsbridge. It began as a single room with one messenger and two assistants. The store thrived steadily expanding to small departments that sold medicines, clothing, and perfume. However, in 1883, the expansion came to a cold halt after a fire blazed down the store leading to relocation to the opposite hall. Architect Charles William helped expedite the rebuilding process to what the store looks like today. The new store featured palatial style with baroque dome, Art Noveau windows, and terracotta tiles with cherubs.

 

Becoming a Public Company- Achieving Success!

 

In 1889, Harrods became a public company offering new products. It established a bank and estate agency as one of its expansion milestones. In 1890, a new department selling exotic pets was introduced. However, the department was closed in 1970 due to legal issues concerning sale of pets. It introduced one of the first world escalators in 1898. The company sold parachutes, uniforms, and some of Lancaster bombers during the World War II. The Harrods was sold to the House of Fraser, a High Street department store, in 1959.

 

Bitter Feud- Ultimate Battle of Ownership

 

An Egyptian businessman, Mr Al Fayed, merged efforts with his brother and bought the House of Fraser for £615m in 1985. A mining company, Lonrho, was not happy as a close contender and took matters to the Department of Trade to bar Al Fayed from owning the store. Al Fayed was accused Al Fayed of lying about his wealth status and source of money. The battle went on for years and reconciliation was reached in 1993 recognizing Al Fayed as the legal owner.

 

Bomb Attacks- Introduction of New Dress Code

 

In 1983 and 1993, two bombs attacks were successfully launched by the IRA leading to the death of six people and 79 casualties in total. Consequently, Al Fayed banned people from wearing beach shorts, swimwear, cycling shorts, and thong sandals in the store. In 1994, the House of Fraser was liquidated keeping only the Harrods stores. The Harrods had strongly expanded by 2000 and acquired outlets on the QE2 cruise ships and at the airports.

 

The Modern Harrods Design- Al Fayed Final Touches

 

Al Fayed added personal touches to the interior design of the store in Knightsbridge to give it the modern stylish decor. Following the death of his son Dodi and Diana, the Princess of Wales, Al Fayed built an Egyptian memorial room in the store. Al Fayed withdrew his royal warrants of the queen’s family claiming that neither Prince Charles nor Queen Elizabeth had shopped in Harrods for many years. Currently, the store has over 4,000 employees and Air Harrods aircraft charter services.

The Harrods store is one and half miles from the newly refurbished Royal Lancaster London Hotel at Lancaster Gate. Hotel guests can stroll across the fabulous Hyde Park in just under half an hour.

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Why is Shepherd’s Bush the best place to Shop?

Those who have experienced Shepherd’s Bush wax lyrical about it. It is in a trendy region of West London and found within the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, spreading over 8 acres and packed full of entertainment.

Pamper Yourself and Let the Luxury Begin!

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K West’s Spa is another attraction, offering an hour or two of relaxation at its convivial best. What a pleasure it is to enjoy retail therapy and then to enjoy pampering, rejuvenating therapy in a spa. Both your body and mind will thrive in a place like this because you can enjoy reflexology, the perfect pedi, a detox foot bath or simply stretch out and enjoy a relaxing massage.

Once you’ve experienced all that the West End of London offers, you’ll want to keep coming back. What are you waiting for? Not only is Shepherd’s Bush a stylish mix of shops and offices, there is something for everyone, young and old.

Shops that Deliver

For starters, the mall features no less than some 50 places to eat and you’ll also find popular London shops with brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Versace and others as well as some very sought after regular stores – ensuring that every budget is catered for.

After a busy week at the office, people just love entering the trendy cocktail bars and cafes, having a drink with friends and perhaps enjoying some live music. If you’re not in the mood for socializing, you can browse through the many luxury boutiques or disappear into the cool interiors of the cinemas for a couple of hours of escapism. Once you’re done there, you can pick up some great convenience foods too before heading home. If vegetables are an important part of your meal there are plenty of opportunities to find fresh produce too.

Making Life Easier

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Before Westfield arrived, Shepherd’s Bush already had some great restaurants and supermarkets, but because Shepherd’s Bush has many different accommodation options, the diverse range of residents rely heavily on an ‘all-under-one-roof’ shopping. They want their lives to be made easier and that’s what Shepherd’s Bush it good at – it provides for the needs of all its residents. Today it features the biggest shopping mall in Europe as well as attractive green spaces for its residents to shop and relax in the most attractive of surroundings.

What is also worth knowing about Shepherd’s Bush is that is it well connected to London with its public transport options. This provides you with the chance to explore the full awesomeness of Shepherd’s Bush. The shopping mall, spa, cinemas and everything else is designed to not only make promises of a great retail experience, but to deliver on their promises.

With Shepherd’s Bush being a treasure house of experiences, you’ll find a mix of huge shopping malls as well as cosy, traditional stores – all designed to satisfy your shopping needs.