Located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, Harrods is perhaps the world’s most famous luxury department store. It was established by Charles Henry Harrod in 1824 on Borough High Street in Southwark and rapidly expanded in the late-19th century, with customers including Oscar Wilde, Sigmund Freud and Laurence Olivier. Harrods is also famed for unveiling England’s first “moving staircase” (escalator) in 1898, with customers offered brandy at the top.
Today Harrods’ flagship store features 330 departments and sprawls across 90,000 square meters of retail space. It sells everything from fashion to electronics, jewelry, sporting gear and beauty items, as well as homewares, furniture and food. There are a range of different restaurants where you can dine on tapas and high tea, as well as a tailor, barbers shop and a watch repairer. In line with its luxury brand, Harrods also offers bespoke picnic hampers, fragrances and cakes and features a personal shopping assistance program that’s known as “By Ap-pointment”.
Shopping at Harrods has become an essential activity on many tourist itineraries, with up to 300,000 customers from all corners of the world visiting the department store on any given day. The store’s motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique, which is Latin for 'all things for all people, everywhere”, and in keeping with its international appeal, the company employs more than 5,000 staff from around 50 different countries. Many tourists come just to soak up the luxury aesthetic, as well as visit the memorials to Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed that have been erected inside the store. Visitors should keep in mind that there is a dress code for entering Harrods, with no high-cut shorts, athletic singlets, flip-flops or bare midriffs allowed.