Double Deck bus with Harrods logo

Double Deck bus with Harrods logo

This pin looks at first to be a double decker bus pin—but notice the label on the bus: Harrod’s in the familiar green name logo.

Harrods: a history of the famous store

Harrods is much more than a department store or a splendid building. Harrods is a British institution, rich in history and romanticism, shaped by its owners, customers and, above all, its staff

During its illustrious 150-year history, Harrods has established itself as a world-class luxury shopping destination. But Harrods is much more than a department store or a splendid building. Harrods is a British institution, rich in history and romanticism, shaped by its owners, architects, customers and, above all, its staff.

Harrods’ illustrious history:

1834: The Harrods legend begins in the East End of London with the opening of a wholesale grocer with a special interest in tea by Charles Henry Harrod.

1849: Harrods moves into a single room in London’s Knightsbridge.

1894: The 1890s were a boom time for Harrods, now a public company, heralding the introduction of various new departments and initiatives, including Harrods Bank and the world’s first escalator (with brandy at the top to revive nervous customers).

1901: Managing director Richard Burbidge’s vision of the world’s most luxurious department store starts to take shape. However, even with 91 departments, the store occupies just the ground and first floors of the building. The four stories above are home to lavishly appointed mansion flats.

1940s: During the War, temporarily abstaining from the glamour and extravagance that made it famous, Harrods devotes itself to producing uniforms, parachutes and parts for Lancaster bombers, as well as giving up sections of the building to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

1949: Harrods celebrates its centenary. In just 100 years, it has grown into a successful £20m business.

1959: The store is acquired by the Scottish company House of Fraser Group. Having suffered a change in fortunes during the post-war years, the sale of Harrods marks the beginning of a period of modernization.

1967: Modernization at Harrods gathers pace with the opening of “Way In”, a swinging mega-boutique to attract a younger clientele.

1980s: The Fayed family’s acquisition makes Harrods a family-owned firm once again, heralding a £300m refurbishment plan to restore it to its former glory.

2008: Harrods opens an 11,000-square-foot store in London Heathrow’s Terminal 5. It is the world’s first airport fashion department store. This is where I got this pin.

2010: Harrods is sold to the Qatari Royal Family for £1.5bn.

2011: Harrods achieves a world record as the only stand-alone department store in the world to hit £1bn in sales in a year.

Location: 05-C3

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