Harrods is a department store in London. Charles Henry Harrod first opened the shop in 1824. At first, the shop was in an area of London called Southwark. In 1849, Harrod decided to open another small shop in a different area called Brompton. This is where Harrods is today.

Charles Harrod’s son was the manager of the shop. At first, he only had two assistants. The shop grew bigger and by 1880, there were 100 people working there. The shop sold medicines, perfumes, stationery, fruits and vegetables. Some famous customers were Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin and Sigmund Freud. The shop had England’s first escalator.

The Fayed brothers bought the shop in 1985. In 2010, the shop was sold again to Qatar Investment Authority. This company invests the wealth of the Qatar royal family.


    • Download a worksheet [PDF] for this article.
    • Learn about the history of London in this book.



department store, noun [C], a large shop that is divided into separate departments, each selling a different things
assistant, noun [C], someone who helps someone else in their work
stationery, noun [U], things that you use for writing, such as paper, pens or pencils
customer, noun [C], someone who buysthings from a shop
escalator, noun [C], a set of moving stairs that take people to different levels in a building
wealth, noun [U], a large amount of money that a person or country owns
royal, adjective, relating to or belonging to a king or queen

Picture: Laika ac via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0