Harrods is a high-end British department store that has its headquarters in London, UK. Although its stores are located in the UK, its reputation and products are popular worldwide and are available through online shopping.
Charles H. Harrod put up his first shop in 1824. His shop was first named “Harrod and Wicking, Linen Drapers, Retail.” However, Harrods partnerships in business had dissolved by the end of 1825 and so he started a new business, this time in the area of retailing groceries. He named his first grocery store “Harrod and Co. Grocers” in 1832.
Two years later, Harrod put up his wholesale grocery shop in Cable Street, London. That wholesale store specialized in selling tea. In 1851, Harrod bought a small shop in Brompton and employed two assistants, plus a boy messenger. When his son Charles D. Harrod took over the store, it became the start of a thriving business in retail. The store sold perfumes, medicines, vegetables and fruits.
In December 1883 however, the store caught fire and nothing was left. Despite the calamity that the business went through, Harrod still delivered on his promise and fulfilled his commitments to the store’s customers. He continued to deliver Christmas orders and purchases that year, providing him a significant profit. Harrod was able to have a new store completed on the same location in a short period of time.
In 1889, Harrods became listed on the Stock Exchange (London) as Harrod’s Stores Ltd. In 1905, Harrod’s present building was completed. In 1914, Harrods opened its first store in Buenos Aires, Argentina. No other Harrods stores were then put up after this. In the same year, Harrods was able to acquire Dickins and Jones, a department store in Regent Street,London. Five years later, it bought Kendals department store in Manchester.
In 1959, the House of Fraser bought Harrods. In 1985, Harrods department stores were acquired by its new owners, Mohammed Al-Fayed and his brother. In 2010, Harrods was again sold to another company, Qatar Holdings.
In 2010, Harrods was looking at possibilities for expansion in China, where it plans to open a store in the city of Shanghai. Today, Harrods continues to remain a stable chain of department stores, with around 330 departments and its products sold both at the stores and online.
Ownership Type: Private
Employees: over 5,000
Demography: quality consumers, luxury goods consumers