The numbers of shopaholics who can shop till they drop are increasing at a supersonic pace. According to a new study by Bain & Co., a possible amount of $275 billion has been spent on luxury goods in 2011. This implies an 8 percent growth from last year’s figure of $255 billion. It is expected that the market of luxury goods would keep on expanding as people who believe in retail therapy will keep splurging lavishly on expensive goods. Luxury departmental stores across the world are growing and the trend will only continue. While Milan and New York have no competitors in fashion, London tops the list when the discussion is about the luxurious stores.
London is a shopper's paradise, offering all from world-famous department stores, to original street stalls to every collectible item you can ever think of. Harrods, located at Brompton road in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, stands as a clear example of globally famous luxury departmental store. Established in 1849 as a grocery store with just two helpers, the Harrods finds its place in the list of world’s most luxurious store. The store is spread across a huge area of four and a half acre and is seven-storied in height. It offers everything from furniture to sportswear, food to fashion and in addition to that 20 in-store restaurants serving world cuisines, from Italian to Chinese and from Mediterranean to Indian. Illuminated by 11,500 light, the store transforms to a bright and lively shopper’s hub at night. The motto of the store “Omnia Omnibus Ubique” (all things for all people), inscribed on the pediment, is symbolic of the varied stuff the store offers.
The food stalls incorporated in the design of the departmental store, are a popular feature with the shopaholics. The food stalls carry quantity and quality together. There are around twenty detached departments for cakes, pastries, vegetables, fish, meat, fruits, cheese (over 350 types from 15 countries), bread (150 types) and more. Beauty and fashion outlets are position grabbers too with ample range of opulent services from beauty salons or exclusive jewelry sections. Apart from the products, the stores lend convenience to customers with the provision of valet parking, shopping advisors, corporate solutions, carpet-ed floors or dog coat fitting and many more facilities.
The regulations implied by the store chain are as unique as the store itself. The guests are advised to abide by the stated regulations: no photos, no ripped clothes and no lone kids under 16. The store gives employment to more than 5,000 employees in 200 departments. It is popular with London tourists and attracts around 300,000 customers everyday. Ever since the store was acquired by Mohammed al-Fayed in 1985, Harrods has sold some of the most expensive items. The historic luxury moments have helped the store to quickly gain popularity around the world. Here, we have compiled a list of expensive and interesting stuff Harrods has catered to in the past.
1. Most expensive yacht at Harrods
Price: $165 million
If you are the one who love to sail around a magnificent sea on a lavish yacht then this H2 Yacht that costs $165 million yacht that was sold recently at Harrods is surely for you. Since the Qatar’s Royal family took over the luxury department store Harrods, they are offering astronomically enormous offerings like 19 super yachts. The Harrods in an agreement with well known yacht making company Watkins has made many mega yachts and are selling them at whopping millions of dollars. Other models are also available, like the Bannenberg and Rowell designed, semi-displacement 213-ft Heesen super yacht or the 246-ft Mogambo that is due to be delivered in March 2012.
2. Advent calendar at Harrods
Price: $1 Million
For the uber rich, who want to make their new year really lavish may splurge on this million dollar advent calendar. Around 1.75 meters high, the calendar is made up of brushed aluminium with double-coat finish surfaces and is designed by the Porsche Design . Designed by the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See, Austria, the Advent calendar is set to reveal a new surprise each day until December 24. The calendar hides a range of disclosures, counting three special highlights - Porsche Design P´6910 Indicator in rosé gold, an independently customizable Porsche Design Kitchen P´7340 and a motor yacht measuring eight and a half meters in length and designed by the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See. The $1 million calendar comes with 18 carat yellow gold sunglasses, Bounce:S² premium running shoes, fine writing tools, timeless cufflinks and a limited edition leather blouson made from hand-woven lambskin Nappa.
3. Baldi Harrods crystal bathtub at Harrods
Price: $7, 90,000
What could be more calming than lazing in a bathtub that costs more than a luxury car? If you're not happy with plain porcelain bathtub and have enough riches to flaunt, then why not splurge on the world's most expensive bathtub? This bathtub is costs cool $790k and has been made from a single piece of rock crystal found in the Amazonian rainforest. It is 2.5 meters in diameter and took six months to carve that was created by Italian company Baldi and was sold at Harrods.
4. Clive Christian perfume at Harrods
Price: $ 2,32, 645
Perfume can make that necessary difference and non-verbally convey a lot about a person’s personality. People splurge on expensive perfumes to leave a good and long lasting impression. Clive Christian in conjunction with Baccarat Crystal has unveiled one of the most expensive perfumes that costs cool $ 2,32645. The bottle of the perfume is adorned with a five-carat large diamond and 18 carat gold collar. The bottle is made of expensive cut glass crystal and is sold exclusively at top luxury store, Harrods.
5. Diamond-encrusted putter at Harrods
Golf has the standing of being a rich man’s sport and consequently all the accessories related to this luxury sports should replicate luxury in itself. A $161000 golf putter is based in 18-carat white gold head encrusted with 240 rubies and 378 diamonds. This exclusive golf putter was on sale at Harrods and is more a collector’s item than a golf accessory.
6. Most expensive shoes at Harrods
Footwears are absolutely a fashion statement for women and rich fashionistas can splurge up to any extent to get an expensive pair of stilettos. One such pair of sandals is the most expensive shoes for women in the world and it has been designed by well-known designer Stuart Weitzman. These extravagant slippers have been adorned with Ruby and were especially made to be worn for Oscar 2003 functions but unfortunately could not be used for it. Ravishing rubies measuring 120 carats in weight have been set in red satin stilettos and framed with pure platinum. These stunning pair was on sale at the Harrods and was sold for whopping $1.6 million. The shoes were kept in a bullet-proof case where they were guarded throughout day and night.
7. Eco-friendly bed at Harrods
Everyone needs a good night sleep after a long tiring day at office, and what could be a better option than sleeping on an eco-friendly bed that costs $84,425? Yes, Vi-Spring has created a bed called The Majesty that includes mattress, divan, headboard and scatter cushions and has been made completely by hand. It has been filled with 6,240 handmade springs and luxurious natural fillings and topped with layers of silk, cashmere, blended lambswool and cotton. The bed has been crafted from hard found breech and is upholstered in fabric from the JAB ANSTOEZ elegant Grandezza collection that makes it even more expensive.
8. Champaign trunk at Harrods
Price: $ 54,000
A true connoisseur knows the value and art of fine drinking and for the rich drinker everything related to the art of drinking has to be just opulent. The Harrods has launched a luxury Krug Trunk for true aficionados who are constantly on move. Made of corrosion proof material, the trunk has traditional red calfskin interior. The cabinets have three bottles of Krug Grande Cuvee champagne and trunk also has an ice-bucket designed by Francois Bauchet.
9. Diamond Manicure at Harrods
For uber rich fashion conscious people, a common day to day make up, jewelry won’t do. To cater such people who are ready to shed thousands of dollars just for a manicure, Iced Manicure that is also known as a diamond manicure would be a perfect choice. London-based Cherish Angula’s diamond manicure is priced at a whopping $51,000. The nail treatment involves 10 carat diamonds that are studded on your nails and is the most expensive nail treatment known till now.
10. Most expensive shirt
A classy shirt is a gentlemen’s attire and when it’s the world’s most expensive one it adds to the glory of the apparel and the wearer as well. Swedish shirt makers Eton who is known to make most elegant shirts has produced World’s Most Expensive Shirt”. The white elegant shirt has been produced to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the brand. Created by Egyptian cotton yarn, the shirt is adorned by white and colored diamonds. This shirt was on sale at Harrods to promote a charitable trust.
11. Most advanced bicycle at Harrods
For people stuck to a green agenda, pedal power seems to be an appropriate substitute. But if you think bicycle is just another means of communication, then you must take a look at the world’s most advanced bicycle that is up for sale at the Harrods. It has been designed by motorsport specialists BERU f1systems, who wanted to see weather technology can be applied to the cycle as well, and he became very successful in doing that. The bike that took two and a half years to get manufactured has a main purpose of being an advanced training tool rather than a high performance racing bike. Apart for training tool, the cycle is equipped with the parameters like crank force, incline, lean angle, body temperature, chest expansion, speed. Weighing just 7.4 kg, the cycle has a special Shimano Di2 electric shifting mechanism system.
12. World's most expensive fridge at Harrods
For people who like to bling every nook and corner of their house, this fridge is a delight to have this touch fridge-freezer studded with 7,000 sparkling Swarovski crystals. Known as Eye Catcher, it is 200 cm high and has been introduced by European appliance maker Gorenje which is one of the most expensive refrigerators in world.
13. Most expensive tea bag at Harrods
Tea is acknowledged as the second most savored drink after coffee. A true tea drinker can guzzle up to 8 cups of tea in a day. For the true tea connoisseur, what could be a better thing to have than the world’s most expensive tea right in the morning? Boodles jewelers have handcrafted diamond teabag that was created to celebrate PG Tips' 75th birthday. Decorated with 280 diamonds, it is being used to raise money for a children's charity in Manchester, England.
14. World’s most expensive box of chocolates at Harrods
There are two categories of people in the world, one who do not like chocolate and other who are crazy for chocolates. Well, most people fall in the latter category. For the rich chocolate lovers, Harrods has launched this collection with exclusively designed packaging by Lebanese chocolatier, Patchi. These chocolates are Swarovski-studded that are hand wrapped in Indian silk and presented with suede leather with gold and platinum linings. One box contains 49 chocolates each studded with Swarovski crystals on the cover with silk rose and costs around $10,000 each box.
15. Ambootia Snowmist at Harrods
Price: $7,864 per Kilogram
Tea and Harrods has an age old connection as its founder Charles Henry Harrod began his career as a grocer and tea merchant. For the tea aficionados, who love to sip the classiest tea, Ambootia Snowmist is the finest known tea for them. The tea leaves are obtained from the Far East from a special technique that includes picking, rolling, fermenting and drying of tea leaves. These tea leaves should be plucked before sunshine since the natural fragrance is at its peak at that time. The most exclusive tea is made from the fragile Pale Ho bud; resultant from bushes specially pruned in the winter and therefore the tea's got this charming name.