Harrods: The Store and the Legend
Henry Charles Harrod was born in 1800 and opened his first shop in 1835. Harrods in Knightsbridge opened in 1849. He sold the shop to his son Charles in 1861. He didn't give the shop to him - one of his mottos in life was "nothing of value comes for free"! In 1898, Harrods introduced the first moving stairs to London - the first escalator. Now shoppers could go upstairs without walking. At the top there was a man to help nervous shoppers. He gave them a glass of cognac on arrival!
Harrods has always been big in the export business. They send the things that people buy anywhere in the world. They've had some strange export orders:
- a Persian carpet to Persia,
- French wine to France,
- a handkerchief to Los Angeles (the cost of the handkerchief was 35 pence, the cost of sending it was £17.50),
- a fossil found in Texas, bought by Harrods, sold to a Texan who re-exported it to Texas.
One night, there was a midnight phone call to Harrods. It was an order for a baby elephant. Of course, there aren't any elephants in the shop, you have to order one.
One person who didn't believe the elephant story, phoned Harrods and said that he wanted to buy an elephant. He was shocked to get the immediate answer: "Yes, sir, an Indian elephant or an African one?"
The variety of merchandise could be the world's largest with 28 departments, 22 restaurants and 52 services making up to 1.2 million products. and they will generally cost more here than anywhere else. Forget about spending a penny. At Harrods it will cost a pound!
Working with words
Memo Game - Find the matching sets!
|to spend money||to go shopping|
|to give money to poor people||to donate to a charity|
|to order||to buy a product which will be brought to you|
|department store||a very big shop with many different sections|
|shop assistant||person who works in a shop|
|an escalator||a moving staircase which brings you to the next floor|
- standard.co.uk: Harrods to close its world famous pet shop (including photo of baby lions and elephant)