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Harrods to start "remote clienteling" VIP service ahead of lockdown lifting

Lauretta Roberts
04 May 2020

Harrods is to start a VIP personal shopping service ahead of the COVID-19 lockdown lifting.

The luxury Knightsbridge store has said a small number of its 5,000 strong workforce would be present in its stores from 18 May to personally shop for orders taken from VIP consumers via telephone or messaging service.

According to a report on This is Money, the world-famous department store said it would be possible to carry out the service with the appropriate social distancing in place and that, if successful, the service could be continued after the store re-opens.

"We are exploring technology to scale as required ahead of being able to phase to inviting customers back in store," a spokesman told the website. "'Timings for this will naturally be dictated by Government guidance. We are taking this opportunity to explore, to test and to learn how we as a business adapt to changing circumstances. But every decision we make will be guided by our commitment to safety."

It has also been revealed that Harrods may re-open its store in phases allowing customers into those departments where social distancing could be practised most easily.

The store's food hall and pharmacy have been open during the lockdown in accordance with Government guidance. As well as serving the affluent local clientele, Harrods relies on tourism, particularly from the Middle East, for much of its sales. With tourism likely to be heavily curtailed this summer, a personal service could help offset some lost sales.

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