Store-ies: Harrod’s Edition

Harrod’s is a storied London department store that dates back to 1834. Their motto, Omnia Omnibus UbiqueAll Things for All People, Everywhere. With over one million square feet of retail space, I think they’re pulling it off. But most people don’t go to Harrod’s to shop, they go there to experience the store. My experience started with a bagpiper in full Irish regale playing a welcome tune that could be heard from blocks away. Now THAT’s retailtainment. As you enter it feels like most high end department stores but then you begin to experience individual zones, the true essence of “store within the store.” It was first most noticeable in the jewelry department where each dealer had their own 20x20 section complete with comfy chairs, refreshments and unique display cases. In the electronics department, I got to experience glasses-free 3D screens in one of the living room settings. And my kid “dragged” me to the toy department where life-size models of Captain America and Spider-Man greeted us in the Marvel zone. As you wander around, you inevitable end up in the middle, the hub, where the famous selections of food and chocolate exist. Everything from an oyster bar to a sweets bar. Overall, it was... over whelming. Amazing little pockets of shopping experiences in a million square foot store. 

Application: There is always a tug and pull between retailers and brands when it comes to creating shopper experiences. What would happen if retailers let each brand own a piece of the store?

Insider Tip: A local Londoner told me that the really rich illegally park their Ferraris and Lamborghinis in front of the store and let them get towed because it’s so hard to get parking. Wow.


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