Apple Opening Store-Within-A-Store Inside London's Harrods Department Store?

Thursday January 19, 2012 1:21 PM PST by Jordan Golson

Apple is planning to open a new store-within-a-store concept at the legendary Harrods department store on Brompton Road in London, according to 9to5Mac.

Harrods boasts more than 1 million square feet of selling space across 330 departments -- plenty of room for an Apple Store of sorts. The store-in-store concept will feature wooden tables and signage but won't have the signature feature of any standalone Apple Store: the Genius bar.

9to5Mac claims the store will be smaller than the typical standalone Apple Store, but will be larger than the standard store-within-a-store at Best Buy or the new pilot program at Target stores in the US.

The richly detailed interior of Harrods

Harrods is perhaps the best-known department store in the world and is visited by more than 300,000 customers on its busiest days. The store is owned by Qatar Holdings, the nation of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund; it was sold by Mohamad Al-Fayed for £1.5 billion in 2010.

(Images courtesy Flickr/sonewfangled and Flickr/Herry Lawford)

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37 months ago
Over the course of a generation Harrods has gone from being the retailer of choice for upper-middle class home-counties Brits to a vulgar, garish and over-priced trap for affluent (and largely clueless) tourists. Former owner Muhammed al-Fayed's symbolic "burning" of the Royal Warrants back in 2000 (he believed that the British Royal Family was responsible for killing his son Dodi) symbolized many things, but it merely served as a reminder to most people who actually live in London how irrelevant both those institutions had become.

Apple obviously feels it has not yet approached the saturation point in its retail footprint, and maybe there are some Harrods customers who'll feel better picking up their iPads and MacBook Airs far from the maddening crowds at Regent Street or Covent Garden. I wish them well, but I certainly won't be tempted to fight the crowds at Knightsbridge Tube Station just to check it out. Last time I was in Harrods (about ten years ago) I was more than a little amused to note that they'd instituted a £1 fee to use the toilets.
Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago



The US has absolutely the best customer service of any country I've ever been to. This is coming from a dual uk/Canadian citizen. I've been to almost 20 countries and lived in 4 and hospitality in the US is something locals take for granted. In many countries tou dont even get a "hello" or "how's it going" when you walk in the store oe "have a nice day" when you leave, nevermind a pleasent conversation with the staff. Finland comes a close second for friendliness. I really hope that Apple is using this as something that goes with their brand.


That's the Canadian in you speaking. No true cynical, grumpy Brit would allow somebody to ask "How's it going?" without pointing out the gross grammatical error contained therein. Nor would they allow anybody working in somewhere like Harrods to say the words "Have a nice day" without questioning the sincerity behind the wishing of good will while also having to subvert the image of some acne-ridden American teenager in a paper hat serving fries.

I personally prefer the "don't speak until spoken to" dynamic of Customer Service that exists in the UK and actively abhor the recent "Americanization" of many shop's policies when it comes to engaging customers. If I need help, I'm perfectly capable of asking for it. I certainly don't need some member of a clone army being falsely amicable to me because he's been told to (or because of a commission).

I can actually say truthfully that I have LEFT shops because of over-zealous staff and taken my business elsewhere, and I have certainly bought items online solely to avoid Shopping "Malls" with their American ideals of "Customer Service".

I know I'm not alone, and I'm acutely aware that it's a quirk of British culture. Just understand that although we might sometimes speak what sounds like the same language, there are cultural divides that often won't make sense after translation. British people broadly distrust nice people, especially strangers. I don't 100% understand why we're so cynical, but I suspect it might be because we live in a country where it's cold and it rains 300+ days of the year. The fact is, we can't really comprehend why a shop assistant would be so happy and 'helpful' when he works for a relatively low wage in a tertiary services industry having to serve annoying people like us. Your idea of "Customer Service" is therefore met with awkwardness, suspicion and disdain.

No doubt this proposed Apple Store will be staffed by Apple Staff in their casual dress and "American" attitude to Sales. A far cry from the "suited & booted" professionals in other Harrods Departments. And that is why the savvy, discerning Londoner will do his shopping for Apple Products online and leave the tourists to fight over the shiny iPads on display...
Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago
Fortnum's > Harrods.



Just sayin'.
Rating: 3 Votes
37 months ago
This is getting silly now. I'm all for expanding the mac user base, but store-within-a-store gives the Mac a bad name. You try going up to one of the staff members there and asking a details mac related question. The words ones are the ones in PC World shops. They shy away and recommend some HP or Toshiba black plastic laptop running Win 7...

They need to get Apple staff, or at very least require that the staff are trained by Apple Store trainers.

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I guess Harrods needs the extra foot traffic boost that only :apple: can surely provide.


Sarcasme?
Rating: 2 Votes
37 months ago
If they put it near the Food Court - heaven!:D
Rating: 2 Votes
37 months ago

[SIZE=1]

I frequently visit the US for work & if I have to do any shopping...I have to constantly suppress the urge to punch anybody who speaks to me as part of their idea of "Customer Service" in the face...

Repeatedly.


So true.
Rating: 2 Votes
37 months ago
Could we then have a store within a store within a store?
Rating: 2 Votes
37 months ago

Store within a store and no inception jokes?


Other memes are available™

Rating: 2 Votes
37 months ago

Fortnum & Mason do great hampers. Harrods beats it in every other way though. Harrods' Food Hall is widely believed to be the most luxurious in the world.

I've never had any problem with Harrods staff or customer service. Given that over 300,000 people pass through their doors on a good day, it would be a miracle if all of those people left feeling 100% satisfied. You can't please everyone etc.

The Apple store within a store will be positioned in the relevant tech/audio/visual department. Placing it anywhere else wouldn't make sense and would not be in keeping with the stores layout. Understandably, this isn't a situation where Apple gets to call the shots. They're probably happy enough having their own spot in the store.



I love the Lebanese restaurant in Harrods. :rolleyes: YUM!
Rating: 1 Votes
37 months ago

I love the Lebanese restaurant in Harrods. :rolleyes: YUM!


Had to plus one this! :)

One a separate note, I know that the staff at John Lewis are not Apple Employees they are definitely JLP staff. I don't know about PC World but their level of knowledge wouldn't make them specialists in anything except selling extended warranties of dubious quality!
Rating: 1 Votes

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