Recognised for its celebrity-endorsed sales, food hall and signature green bags, Harrods is one of the world’s largest and most famous department stores. With more than a million square feet (90,000 sq m) of space, Harrods sells luxury and everyday items across seven floors and 330 departments.
Its motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique – All Things for All People, Everywhere – and the store attracts 15 million customers each year. The Knightsbridge store was established in 1849 by Charles Henry Harrod. Beginning in a single room and employing two assistants and a messenger boy, it mainly sold tea and groceries. Harrods steadily expanded, and by 1880 was a thriving department store, offering everything from medicines and perfumes to clothing and food and attracted wealthy customers.
Harrods became a public company in 1889 and by the 1890s it had established a bank and estate agency and a department selling exotic pets that lasted until the 1970s. It featured one of the world’s first escalators in 1898. London department store Harrods was recently sold by its owner Mohammed Al Fayed to the Qatari royal family for £1.5bn.