London-based luxury department store Harrods is set to open its first-ever store in China for New Year
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Located in Shanghai’s Pudong district, the new location, dubbed ‘The Residence’, opens in 2020, and is Harrods’ first in China.
According to a UK media report, the move comes after several years of investment in the Chinese market by the iconic retailer.
“If you look at all of the reports, they say, quite categorically that all of the growth in the next five years is going to come from southeast Asia,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director told The Telegraph.
“And is going to come from millennials. So we have got to go after that. It is very important that you follow the money…We see the continued growth of China, but we see a need to be a more permanent resident in China,” continued Michel Ward.
Just last month, Harrods did test the physical retail landscape in China with its ‘A Very Harrods’ pop-up store. Located in Chengdu, the Christmas-timed event took place in the Temple House hotel and retailed a bevy of big name luxury brands.
As it stands, Chinese millennials has access to several established luxury retailers in their home nation.
These include Hong Kong-based Lane Crawford, 10 Corso Como (which hails from Italy) and the more recently added Shanghai entrant, Galeries Lafayette, from Paris.
However, the Chinese have a soft spot for the Knightsbridge, London-based Harrods. The country provides the single largest group of the retailer’s custom with 20% of spending at the 171-year-old department store coming from Chinese visitors, according to FashionNetwork.com
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Founded in 1849 by Charles Henry Harrod, Harrods is today owned by the state of Qatar via its sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, after its sale by Mohammed Al Fayed for 1.5 billion pounds in 2010.