Five Harrods tribes you did not know existed
As stores reopened in April, customers have been slowly going back and it is no different at Harrods, but one thing you probably did not notice before is their regular customer groups
Founded by Charles Henry Harrod in 1849, Harrods has a longstanding reputation in the luxury market with its department store in Knightsbridge, London. Priding itself in exceptional service and unique experiences, the employees are always told to go “above and beyond” for all customers. When people come into Harrods, they have incredibly high standards and expect a special treatment, but a few years ago those expectations came with some rules to follow. Security used to be quite strict with who could come into the store or not – the way you looked and dressed played a major role into whether or not you were allowed to be seen at this Knightsbridge hotspot. However, things have changed and although there are still associations to what a sophisticated Harrods customer is meant to be, anyone can walk through those doors and become a part of that community. The more time you spend inside the building of this ever-changing global empire, the more you start to notice what the modern Harrods clients look like and it does not take too long to realise the different groups that are constantly there. These are some of the main tribes you will find on a typical Saturday afternoon at Harrods.
1. Multimillionaire Middle Easterns
The women might be wearing black burkas with different colour hijabs – some with embellishments and some plain – but they will make sure to change their Hermès Birkin bags every day. From crocodile to Togo leather, they were always paired with multiple diamond necklaces and rings that can sometimes match the colour of the bag. The reflection of the stones once the lights hit could definitely cause some damage to your eye so be warned. Splitting their time between Dubai, Qatar or Kuwait and London, Harrods is the hotspot for these multimillionaires to shop and spend most of their time socialising with friends and family.
2. Mega Rich Russians
Couples usually come together, but sometimes you will spot the wife shopping on her own as she knows exactly what she wants. The mega rich Russians like to get things done quick without getting too much attention from the people around them. Trousers and a buttoned blouse or a short skirt with a cropped jumper are two of the most popular outfits for this group. To spice things up a bit, the jewellery is either from Dior or Van Cleef & Arpels – but nothing too flashy – and the crossbody bag of the season is a must. The hair? Voluminous as always, of course.
3. Extravagant Travellers
Multiple layers of fake tan and fake lashes, hair extensions with back-combed curled hairdos and over-lined lips are just the first few details you notice when seeing this particular group. Although, you will be able to hear them approaching by the excessively high volume of their voices. The outfits vary from tight mini-skirts with matching blazers or mini dresses, of all sorts of colours and patterns. Do not worry because the heels are as high as they can get – and Christian Louboutin, obviously – so after the bathroom photoshoots, it is back to the rubber sliders or even walking bare feet if necessary. The true definition of luxury.
4. American Tourists
Visiting London, like most places, comes with a long to-do list or places to visit and most times, Harrods is towards the top of that itinerary. You will mainly see two types of people in this tribe: the ones with cargo shorts, loose t-shirts and platform flip-flops or the ones with leggings, a more fitted t-shirt or oversized jumper, and trainers. Backpacks or tote bags are the accessories of choice and a rather talkative and social personality is the added bonus, which leads to a conversation about how England is oh so different from the United States.
5. English Neighbours
Imagine calling Harrods your local corner shop? That is the reality of the English families that live in the neighbourhood. Whether it is their groceries, hair and nail appointments or usual clothing and shoe shopping, you can tell straight away this tribe is from the area. The smart casual look usually includes chinos, a silk blouse or cashmere sweater, leather trainers – mainly Veja or Golden Goose – and a shoulder bag, designer of course. Jewellery? Only if they are subtle necklaces and the ‘big rocks’ from their engagement ring and wedding band. Their confidence when walking around the store and knowing all its corners says it all.