Harrods Sold - Shanghai Branch In Discussion

By B. Roberts

On 8th May, a historic transaction took place as Mohammed Al Fayed sold the famed London department store Harrods to the Qatari Royal Family investment company for a reported £1.5bn.

The Qatar Investment company's purchase of Harrods included all subsidiaries of the Harrods Group, such as Harrods Estates and the luxury aircraft charter service. Harrods is a landmark in British commerce, holding the foundations of high end goods in Knightsbridge since 1849.

In 1985 Mohammed Al Fayed acquired the business after a £615m takeover. The Egyptian born businessman is now retiring from the day to day running of the store in order to spend more time with his family. However, Mohammed Al Fayed will maintain a role to continue promotion of the store in the role of Honorary Chairman.

With the introduction of new owners have come new ideas, including a new luxury online shop and making the brand name portable. The Qatar Investment company are now debating the possibility of opening a new Harrods store in Shanghai.

This is a large move for the distinctly British department store. It has been widely reported that the distance from the London to Shanghai stores could be beneficial, however a new store anywhere nearer could effect tourism levels.

Harrods has been a national landmark since its inception, offering a wide array of luxury goods alongside decades of consistent tourist appeal.

By B. Roberts