Harrods is set to undergo a £200m revamp – the biggest in its 180-year history – partly in an attempt to lure more Hong Kong and Chinese customers to the iconic Knightsbridge stores.
Managing director Michael Ward told the South China Morning Post today that the three-year capital investment would also include a revamp of its online offering in a bid to make it more attractive to international customers, particularly those from the East.
“Our Hong Kong and Chinese customers are extremely important to Harrods so are considered part of our redevelopment plans. For us, the future is in the East and we have been focusing on that for a number of years,” he said.
Chinese customers currently make up a quarter of Harrods’ international customer base while its largest single customer base remains the UK.
The exterior of the store, which was opened in 1834, will remain untouched by the revamp but Ward said customers can expect to see significant changes to the interior, which is home to 330 departments and covers 1m sq ft of retail space.
Harrods is owned by Qatar Holdings, the sovereign wealth fund of the Gulf state, which bought it in 2010 from Mohammed al-Fayed, who had owned it since 1985.
It is the latest of London’s iconic department stores to undergo a major refurb. Selfridges has undertaken a major remodelling of its Oxford Street store which was resulted in the opening of what it says is the world’s largest accessories department, along with a new Body Studio and Designer Studio.
Harvey Nichols too has revamped its flagship store introducing a new accessories and beauty department and a number of new services, such as a handbag clinic, while Liberty has revamped and extended its menswear department and remodelled its womenswear on floors one and two.