Flagship of British luxury, Harrods celebrates 175 years

The London department store spared no expense to celebrate its 175th birthday. The aim: to continue attracting a very wealthy clientele, notably Chinese. Harrods cultivates this latter target by going directly to its turf, as demonstrated by its recent opening of an ultra-select private club in Shanghai. In this way, Harrods is demonstrating its resilience to the growing importance of luxury goods in the British economy.

The Brexit, as we know, hasn’t made things any easier for British retailers. With, in particular, the decision in its wake to abolish tax exemptions granted to tourists for shopping on the island…

But Harrods, the legendary London department store, is determined to keep its name shining beyond the Channel, and this spring it is rolling out a firework display of initiatives to celebrate its 175th anniversary.

Back in February, a foretaste was given through a collaboration with another British icon, Burberry. The famous House injected its famous tartan and knight blue into the decoration and outfits of the Harrods doormen, imagined a ready-to-wear capsule for the whole family, customized a limited edition (175 copies) of the department store’s famous bear, opened a Burberry Camping Corner offering hiking accessories and opened a food truck in its colors.

Christmas highlight

But the anniversary really kicks off in April, with actions that will continue throughout 2024, until the “climax” which “will be reached at Christmas with a breathtaking presentation.”


© Harrods


The London institution promises “a campaign of highlights, inspired by the most iconic elements of the Harrods brand, such as the famous bears, the iconic façade and exceptional customer service, as well as exclusive commemorative collaborations.

The celebration will kick off with a nightly illumination of the department store at 8 p.m, thanks to its new exterior lighting system. And all this without too much damage to the planet: now made up entirely of LED bulbs, it saves 80% of energy…


© Harrods


Harrods’ Teddy Bear will be the omnipresent mascot of this anniversary. A giant version of the Teddy Bear can be found in “The Harrods Lounge“, installed in the ground-floor window, a concierge area to help customers find their way around the store and its products and services.

The Harrods bear customized by luxury brands

The Harrods bear will be available as a plush toy, with new models arriving throughout 2024, the result of collaborations with “some of the world’s most renowned luxury houses“. Valentino and beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury are among the first to join the adventure.


© Harrods


The childlike spirit of bear aficionado customers will also be solicited, via the “Harrods Design-A-Bear Studio” competition in the first week of April. Participants will be invited to create a new avatar, and the winner will be sold in the department store.

The senses of Harrods customers will also be pampered, with a nod to the origins of the brand, which started out selling teas in 1849. For its anniversary, the Food Hall will be offering collectable teas inspired by fragrances sold in its Perfumery departments. Penhaligon’s, Guerlain and Ex Nihilio will be behind the creations named Mr Harrods, Royal Extract II and Brompton Immortals respectively.

London’s competitive disadvantage

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Featured Photo: © Harrods

Picture of Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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