Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Harrods: The Best Shopping Experience In The World

I was in London last week for a day giving an interview to the Financial Times on the reconfiguration of the advertising industry, appearing on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange talking about Lovemarks and further growth in China, and then giving the Annual Lecture to the Institute of Direct Marketing. In the middle of this eclectic day, I spent two hours in the best department store in the world - Harrods. There have been many pretenders to the throne and none have come close. Harrods' owner, the ubiquitous Mr. Al-Fayed, is also owner of the Ritz Hotel in Paris and the somewhat more prosaic Football Club. And, while he may not be everyone’s cup of tea, believe me, he has the highest standards when it comes to customer service and a department store. Harrods is the ultimate Lovemark.

If you can’t find something in Harrods, they can get it for you. On this visit I was buying some crockery, glassware and cutlery for my new Grasmere home in the Lake District. Normally, this would have been an administrative nightmare involving three different departments but Raj and Marcia, two assistants in kitchenware/glassware, took care of the whole process. They made it fun, seamless, fast and successful! They told me that they underwent ongoing customer service training and that they were rewarded on their attitude towards customers and their ability to delight them. I had the same service experience in the art department when I picked up a couple of sculptures. You can easily spend a day in Harrods and the food hall is the best sensual experience to be had anywhere in the UK. Harrods not only bring together the best of the best, they allow you to taste pretty much anything you like from sushi to meat and potato pie. Then there is the Egyptian Room which is not to be missed.

Harrods has been around a long time but it just gets better and better. When it comes to Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy, Harrods can’t be beat.