Coupled with the opulence of the interior design all the displays of foods themselves,
cheese, fish, wine, patisserie, cakes, confectionery, delicatessen, meat, fruit and
vegetables all have the most sumptuous displays of mouth-watering food, sourced from
the best suppliers all over the world.
All this started from very humble beginnings when in 1834 Charles Henry Harrod opened a small wholesale grocery in Stepney in Londons East End, with a special interest in tea. But in 1849 to escape the inner city dirt and to capitalize on trade to the Great Exhibition in 1851 in nearby Hyde Park, Harrod obtained a small shop in Knightsbridge on the site of the current store.
Starting in a single room with 2 assistants and a messenger boy, Harrods son Charles Digby Harrod built the business,acquiring adjacent properties and employing 100 people by 1880 selling medicines, stationery, perfumes, fruit and vegetables. Disaster struck in December 1883 when the store burnt to the ground, but Charles Harrod rallied to fulfil all his commitments to his customers for their Christmas deliveries that year and made a record profit in the process.
New buildings were soon raised on the same site and once again the store continued
to expand, 1898 saw the installation of the worlds first moving staircase (the escalator)
where nervous customers were offered brandy at the top to revive them after their