Interesting Facts About Harrods That You Probably Didn’t Know

  • Charles Henry Harrod opened it in 1834 when he was only 25 years old and today it is still a major shopping destination.
  • The current building was constructed between 1901 and 1905. 
  • Harry Gordon Selfridge, whose store rivaled Harrods in the early 20th Century, once made a bet with the Harrods managing director over which store would made a greater profit in 1917. When Harrods won, Selfridge had a silver replica of the store commissioned. The replica is on display on lower ground floor today.
  • Animals have long had an association with the store. Playwright Noel Coward once bought a pet alligator there for Christmas. Another time, a cobra was used to guard a pair of sandals worth £62,000 due to the diamonds and sapphires embedded in them. In 1967, a baby elephant was bought at Harrods and given to Ronald Reagan. The store also had a zoo in 1917 that started off with chickens and goats and later added exotic animals.
  • Harrods opened the first airport fashion department store in the world at Heathrow Airport in 2008. Each terminal now has its own store to ensure that customers from all of the world can shop at Harrods.
  • On an average day, approximately 100,000 people come to shop at Harrods. On peak days, especially during the Christmas season, this number can jump up to 300,000.
  • At night, Harrods is lit up by 12,000 light bulbs on the store’s façade and 300 bulbs have to be changed every day. This began with its Christmas lights in 1959 when 1,100 bulbs were used for the decorations.

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