(綜合報道)(星島日報報道)世界最負盛名的倫敦Harrods百貨公司的老闆埃 及富商阿法耶茲，以超過十五億英鎊（逾一百七十二億港元）天價，把Harrods出售予卡塔爾皇室。他的財務顧問透露，現年七十七歲 的阿法耶茲決定退休。 擔任阿法耶茲財務顧問的投資銀行Lazard ...
Harrods位於倫敦的騎士橋（Knightsbridge），在西敏寺和肯辛 頓之間，擁有超過330個部門，涵蓋超過9萬平方米的樓層地板面積，是百貨宮殿，冠蓋滿堂，購物人次每年達1500萬，也是港人遊倫敦必到的「朝聖」之地。 名店與名人密不可分，光顧過哈羅德的名人有十九世紀喜劇作家 ...
Harrods is a luxury department store located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London, UK. The Harrods brand also applies to other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Bank, Harrods Estates, Harrods Aviation and Air Harrods.
The store occupies a 4.5-acre (18,000 m2) site and has over one million square feet (90,000 m2) of selling space in over 330 departments. The UK's second-biggest shop, Oxford Street's Selfridges, is a little over half the size with 540,000-square-foot (50,000 m2) of selling space.
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.
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Harrods was established in 1834 in London's East End, when founder Charles Henry Harrod set up a wholesale grocery in Stepney, with a special interest in tea. In 1849, to escape the vice of the inner city and to capitalise on trade to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in nearby Hyde Park, Harrod took over a small shop in the district of Knightsbridge, on the site of the current store. Beginning in a single room employing two assistants and a messenger boy, Harrod's son Charles Digby Harrod 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 1883, 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 Oscar Wilde, legendary actresses Lillie Langtry and Ellen Terry, Noël Coward, Sigmund Freud, A. A. Milne, and many members of the British Royal Family.
On Wednesday, 16 November 1898, Harrods debuted England's first "moving staircase" (escalator) in their Brompton road stores; the device was actually a woven leather conveyor belt-like unit with a mahogany and "silver plate-glass" balustrade. Nervous customers were offered brandy at the top to revive them after their 'ordeal'.
On 8 May 2010, Mohammed Al Fayed sold Harrods Knightsbridge to Qatar Holdings, for a price of £1.5 billion. Al Fayed decided to sell Harrods as he wanted to retire and spend more time with his family. He will become an honorary chairman of the store. Qatar Holdings is a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority which is the emirate's sovereign wealth fund.
Significant events in Harrods' history
- 1834: Charles Henry Harrod (1799–1885) founds a wholesale grocery in Stepney, East London
- 1849: Harrods moves to the Knightsbridge area of London, near Hyde Park
- 1861: Harrods undergoes a transformation when it was taken over by Harrod's son, Charles Digby Harrod (1841–1905)
- 1883: On 6 December, fire guts the shop buildings, giving the family the opportunity to rebuild on a grander scale
- 1889: Charles Digby Harrod retires, and Harrods shares are floated on the London Stock Exchange under the name Harrod's Stores Limited
- 1905: Begun in 1894, the present building is completed to the design of architect Charles William Stephens.
- 1914: Harrods opens its first and only foreign branch in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It became independent of Harrods in the late 1940s but still traded under the Harrods name usable only in Argentina Harrods Buenos Aires.
- 1914: Harrods buys the Regent Street department store Dickins & Jones.
- 1919: Harrods buys the Manchester department store, Kendals; 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.
- 1959: The British department store holding company, House of Fraser, buys Harrods.
- 1969: Christian the lion was bought by John Rendall and Anthony 'Ace' Bourke. The lion was set free in Kenya after reaching maturity.
- 1983: A terrorist attack by the Provisional IRA outside the Knightsbridge store kills six people.
- 1985: The Fayed brothers buy the store for £615 million.
- 1986: The small town of Otorohanga in New Zealand briefly changed its name to Harrodsville in response to legal threats made by Mohamed Al Fayed against a person with the surname of Harrod, who had used the name "Harrod's" for his shop. Other town businesses changed their store name to Harrod's in support, and the resultant lampooning in the British press led to Al Fayed dropping the legal action.
- 1990: A Harrods shop opens onboard the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, which was then owned by the Walt Disney Company. Harrods gives right to Duty Free International for a license to operate a Harrods Signature Shop at Toronto Pearson International Airport's Terminal 3 (closed shortly after)
- 1994: The relationship between House of Fraser and Harrods is severed. Harrods remains under the ownership of the Fayed family, and House of Fraser is floated on the stock exchange.
- 1997: The British court issues an injunction to restrain the Buenos Aires Harrods store from trading under the Harrods name.
- 2000: A Harrods shop opens onboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, owned by the Cunard Line.
- 2006: The Harrods "102" store opens opposite the main store on Brompton Road; it features concessions like Krispy Kreme and Yo! Sushi, as well as florists, a herbalist, a masseur, and an oxygen spa.
- 2006: Omar Fayed, Mohamed's youngest son, joins the Harrods board.
- 2010: Qatar Holdings become the new owners of Harrods, after Al Fayed announces he has sold the store. It had been reported that Qatar Holdings paid £1.5 billion for the Knightsbridge store, in a deal signed in the early hours of 8 May, 2010.
Products and services
The store's 330 departments offer a wide range of products and services. Products on offer include clothing for every sort of customer (women, men, children, and infants), electronics, jewellery, sporting gear, bridal trousseau, pets and pet accessories, toys, food and drink, health and beauty items, packaged gifts, stationery, housewares, home appliances, furniture, and much more.
A representative sample of store services includes 28 restaurants, serving everything from high tea to tapas to pub food to haute cuisine; a personal shopping-assistance programme known as "By Appointment"; a watch repair service; a tailor; a dispensing pharmacy; a beauty spa and salon; a barbers shop; Harrods Financial Services; Harrods Bank; Ella Jade Bathroom Planning and Design Service; private events planning and catering; food delivery; a wine steward; bespoke "picnic" hampers and gift boxes; bespoke cakes; and bespoke fragrance formulations.
Up to 300,000 customers visit the store on peak days, comprising the highest proportion of customers from non-English speaking countries of any department store in London. More than five thousand staff from over fifty different countries work at Harrods.
As of the 15 October 2009, Harrods Bank has started selling gold bars and coins that customers can buy "off the shelf". The gold products range from 1 g to 12.5 kg, and can be purchased within Harrods Bank. They also offer storage services, as well as the ability to sell back gold to Harrods in the future.
Harrods and Mohamed Al Fayed have been criticised for selling real animal fur with regular protests organised outside Harrods. Harrods is the only department store in the UK that has continued to sell fur. Harrods was sharply criticized in 2004 by the Hindu community for marketing a line of feminine underwear (designed by Roberto Cavalli) which featured the images of South-Asian goddesses. The line was eventually withdrawn and formal apologies were made.
Harrods was the holder of royal warrants from:
- Queen Elizabeth II for Provisions and Household Goods
- The Duke of Edinburgh as Outfitters
- The Prince of Wales as Outfitters and Saddlers
- The Queen Mother, now deceased, for China and Glass
Harrods had held The Duke of Edinburgh's warrant since 1956, but it was rescinded by Prince Philip on 21 December 2001 because of a "significant decline in the trading relationship" between the duke and the store.
Al Fayed then pre-emptively removed all the royal coats of arms that had been prominently displayed by the business, even though other warrants were yet to expire or be withdrawn. None of the royal grantors of warrants had spent any money at Harrods since 1997, the year Diana, Princess of Wales, died.
On 10 September 2002, Harrods hired a live Egyptian cobra to protect the shoe counter, guarding a £62,000 (€84,880) pair of haute couture ruby-, sapphire- and diamond-encrusted sandals launched by designer Rene Caovilla.
Since the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed, Mohamed Al Fayed's son, two memorials commissioned by Al Fayed have been erected inside Harrods to the couple. The first, unveiled on 12 April 1998, consists of photographs of the two behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass smudged with lipstick from Diana's last dinner as well as what is described as an engagement ring Dodi purchased the day before they died.
The second memorial, unveiled in 2005 and located by the Egyptian escalator at door three is titled "Innocent Victims", is a bronze statue of the two dancing on a beach beneath the wings of an albatross. The albatross is a bird that is said to symbolise the "Holy Spirit". The sculpture was created by 80 year old Bill Mitchell who is a close friend of Al Fayed and has been the artistic design advisor to Harrods for 40 years. Mr. Al Fayed said he wanted to keep the pair's "spirit alive" through the statue.
Harrods was sold to the Qatar royal family for £1.5 billion with chief executive Al Fayed planning to retire. Al Fayed will be given the role of "honorary chairman" though will have little day-to-day involvement with the store. The sale was concluded in the early hours of 8 May and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani was sent to London to finalise the deal, saying that the acquisition of Harrods would add "much value" to the investment portfolio of Qatar Holdings while his deputy, Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla, called it a "landmark transaction". A spokesman for Fayed said "in reaching the decision to retire, [Fayed] wished to ensure that the legacy and traditions that he has built up in Harrods would be continued."
- Chris Bennett and Colin Cameron (2000-02-07). Behind the Scenes at Harrods. Andre Deutsch. ISBN 0-233-99617-6.
- Tim Dale (November 1986). Harrods: The Store and the Legend. Pan. ISBN 0-330-29800-3.
- ^ Clegg, Alicia (13 December 2005). "Hot Shops: Retail Revamps". Businessweek.com. http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/dec2005/id20051213_744054.htm. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
- ^ FACTBOX-previous Harrods owner Mohamed al-Fayed
- ^ "The First Moving Staircase in England." The Drapers' Record, 19 Nov. 1898: 465.
- ^ a b c d "Mohammed Al Fayed sells Harrods store to Qatar Holdings". BBC News (BBC). 8 May 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8669657.stm. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
- ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-8083788.html
- ^ "Harrods Starts Selling Gold Bars". The London Insider. 16 October 2008. http://www.london-insider.co.uk/2009/10/harrods-starts-selling-gold-bars-ingots-coins/. Retrieved 16 October 2009.
- ^ "Harrods fur protests". Vegies.org.uk. 27 June 2009. http://www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=782. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
- ^ "The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade". Caft.org.uk. http://www.caft.org.uk/harrods/harrods.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
- ^ "Harrods apology over Hindu bikinis". BBC News (BBC). 9 June 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3790315.stm. Retrieved 9 June 2004.
- ^ "London's Harrods hires cobra to guard £62,000 shoes". Rawstory.com. 10 September 2007. http://rawstory.com/news/afp/London_x92_s_Harrods_hires_cobra_to_09102007.html. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
- ^ Rick Steves, Getting Up To Snuff In London, /www.ricksteves.com.
- ^ Harrods unveils Diana, Dodi statue, CNN.com, 1 September 2005.
- ^ "Diana bronze unveiled at Harrods". BBC News (BBC). 1 September 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4204364.stm. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
- ^ "Michael Jackson memorial statue planned for Harrods, says Mohamed Fayed". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). 29 June 2009. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/michael-jackson/5651456/Michael-Jackson-memorial-statue-planned-for-Harrods-says-Mohamed-Fayed.html. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
- ^ a b c "Mohammed Al Fayed sells Harrods store to Qatar Holdings". BBC News (BBC). 8 May 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8669657.stm. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
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