Shopping is one of the top things to do while visiting one of the major cities across the world. Each city has its own personal flair. New York has its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s and London has its Harrods. Harrods has been around since 1834 in London’s East End. It all started with Charles Henry Harrod, who opened up a grocery wholesale store selling his favorite merchandise which was tea, of course. Years later he decided to move from his inner city location and get a piece of the Great Exhibition action in 1851 and moved to a small shop in Knightsbridge near Hyde Park.
From the small shop, between 1851 and 1880, Mr. Harrod built his store from two assistance and a messenger boy to a large retail store selling the finest in all available things. Like many buildings in London, at one point or another, the store burned down in December of 1883. But that didn’t stop Mr. Harrod from delivering all of the promised Christmas deliveries, which brought in a record profit and funded the new building, in the same location.
His store and service extended some firsts for the industry with extending credit to his best customers like the British Royalty and other famous and wealthy. In 1898, the first moving staircase in England was in Harrods. This escalator was made of a woven leather conveyor belt an mahogany wood, silver plated and glass balustrade. Some of the customers were a nervous wreck by the time they made it to the top so they were offered brandy to calm them down.
Today, there are over 330 different departments in this historical building. All with their own style. There are 28 restaurants serving all types of cuisine. One can find a personal shopping assistant by appointment. There is also a beauty salon and day spa, a bank and pharmacy for when one needs a little something to accept how much money they have spent in the store. This store could take weeks to search through each area but if you don’t have a week, better give it a good full day. It is the definition of glamor.