It is seen as quintessentially British by the world. And it is just the entire world that the great London store has its eyes intently set on.
In 2010, Mohamed Al Fayed sold Harrods to the Qatar Investment Authority for EUR 1.7 billion. The management remained the same, so as did the tradition and prestige of the London symbol, assets amounting to great part of the prime investment objective that is Harrods.
Its current owners have proven an excellent ability of taking full command of Harrods’ potential and label in today’s ultra competitive and global player world, so very different from the times the department store was established, almost 200 years ago. Throughout 2011 and 2012 the Qatari Authority put not less than EUR 128 million into the development of Harrods and it paid off, in 2011 only, through – EUR 771 million in sales, an 11% increase and a EUR 148 million profit, up 15%.
The numbers are even less tight than they appear to be as, obviously, investment pays off in a longer run than we have yet time to analyse. And the variety of projects met by the Harrods guarantee amount to immense promises – the new distribution centre, a new store at Heathrow and the refurbishing of the existing one, the relaunch of the online store, new and expanded men’s shoes, watches and toys departments, a Tom Ford boutique and a great influx of new brands. And all of this topped off by plans to open a summer pop up store in Porto Cervo, Sardinia and the launch of a Harrods hotels chain in Kuala Lumpur, New York, Paris andLondon.
At Harrods, the wind of change seems to always bring about spectacular evolutions. Just like captured in the fashion section of the latest number of Harrods Magazine.