London - Luxury department store Harrods is set to undergo its largest renovation in its 180-year history, as part of its wider three-year investment plan.

The revamp project will see the department store further invest in its e-commerce and "entirely" redevelop the iconic building's shop floor in a bid to appeal to more Asian customers. No changes will be made to Harrods exterior, only the store interiors, which include 330 different sections, will be renovated, reported the South China Morning Post.

Plans on the table for Harrods revamp include removing the Food Hall's wall and expanding the fine watch room to include a marble staircase leading to a new space on the store's lower ground floor. "Our Hong Kong and Chinese customers are extremely important to Harrods so are considered part of our redevelopment plans," said Michael Ward, managing director at Harrods in an interview with the Post. "For us, the future is in the East and we have been focusing on that for a number of years."

The three-year plan, which has been hailed as Harrods most ambitious investment since its opening, sees the department store strengthing its e-commerce offering to ensure it remains a popular destination for wealthy consumers from Asian countries. China is the biggest international market for Harrods, accounting for a fifth of its revenue.

"We have seen a lot of social media activity in China," added Ward, who noted that the launch of Alipay had led to a discussion with Alibaba's Tmall, but Harrods has not formally decided if it would sell products via the Chinese online shopping platform. "The growth of Chinese e-commerce platforms is very impressive and we watch their progress closely. But it would need to be the right customer experience for us to seriously consider it.”

 

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