Harrods Technology Department
Harrods has officially opened its state-of-the-art technology Department, offering shoppers an industry-leading experience in a 30,000sq.ft space.
In one of the biggest transformations of the stores 185-year history, the department has grown by nearly 80%, moving from the third to the fifth floor to occupy 11 rooms, making it one of the largest technology departments in the UK. Here, customers can explore dedicated zones across Vision, Computing, Audio, Imaging and Connectivity, shop for products from the world’s best brands and enjoy revolutionary interactive experiences.
Catering to the ‘prosumer’
Stewart Mancey, Head of Technology said: “Technology products were once deemed niche, but the category has become increasingly diversified and now has broad appeal. As a result, our new customer is the ‘prosumer’ – someone with the desire for professional equipment despite being a hobbyist or amateur. From taking family photos on the best cameras to hearing records through the world’s best speakers to watching movies on the best display, customers have become more engaged in how the latest technology can add value to their lives.”
Harrods Technology includes a definitive global edit of brands curated by the store’s expert technology buyers. Driven by innovation, fashion and aesthetic, Harrords has included a range of exclusive pieces with a contemporary look and feel, without compromising on high performance and speed. The new department has also seen the introduction of immersive shopping experiences, with a Masterclass Room for learning photography skills, designated listening rooms to try out the best turntables and headphones and viewing rooms to experience top-of-the-range TV and audio. Brand partners will also have the opportunity to offer clients one-to-one access to industry experts who inspire and engage both technophiles and trend-led clients alike.
Stewart continued: “We have seen incredible innovation and a huge increase in the immersive quality of consumer technology, and we’re excited to bring these products to our customers at Harrods. The breadth of our offering is incomparable; from our mobile-phone brands’ trend-led options to advanced technology in sound speakers; there is something to delight every Harrods customer.”
A unique retail experience
The contemporary, minimalist space, designed by architecture firm Gensler, takes inspiration from Harrods’ 1930s heritage, blurring the boundaries between fashion and technology.
Owen Roberts, Design Director at Gensler said: “We wanted to achieve something that was a continuous, connected space that flows effortlessly through the space on the fifth floor.”
Lara Marrero from Gensler added: “With technology departments, they tend to be quite masculine in their fixtures and fittings and colour palettes but we have found that more and more women are influencing purchases so Harrods wanted to make sure that the space was warmed up to make it more inviting for men and women alike. The brief was therefore, how do we create this next in class experience for Harrods that then becomes the place everybody goes to be inspired and buy to-end products.”
A traditional three-metre wide catwalk with Harrods signature floor pattern and continuous illuminated ceiling feature were designed to physically connect the five dedicated zones and showcase the brands that form Harrods Technology. Within the rooms, lower lighting and product density enable customers to better engage with the brands and their displays. The result is a luxurious, warm and modern atmosphere that fosters an exclusive and personalised shopping experience.
Lara said: “The catwalk and the uninterrupted ceiling with its perfect glow, is there to create a sense of anticipation so you want to keep going through the department because it really captures you from the offset.”
The first zone shoppers will see upon entering the department is Vision, which boasts one of the largest collections of OLED technology and a Viewing Room where brands can demonstrate the latest innovations in TV and audio. Next, they’ll find Harrods’ new Samsung store, showcasing the brand’s latest breakthrough in immersive home entertainment and connectivity – including the highly anticipated exclusive launch of The Wall, a supersized bespoke, multimedia display that heightens every visual experience, whether it’s gaming and watching movies or displaying personal art of photos.
Moving down the catwalk into the Audio zine, customers will find an extensive range of sound systems and audio equipment from brands such as Sony, Bose and Linn. Shoppers can explore the Headphone Forest or visit one of three Listening Rooms to enjoy bespoke soundscape experiences. Further on into the space, Harrods Technology introduces the world’s largest Apple concession, with a range of core products including iPhones, Macs and Apple Watches. In the Imaging Zone brands such as Lecia, Nikon and Fujifilm offer high-performance photography equipment with unique designs.
“Our vision was to create a world-class destination for some of the biggest technology brands in the world. Harrods now has a product to rival not only our direct competitors, but also niche specialist technology retailers,” Stewart said of the new department. “In keeping with the overall Harrods identity, we offer the best products in the category and always aim to surprise and delight.”
Lara added: “For us this was an amazing project to be involved with. Harrods is such an incredible brand and with the vision they have and looking at the next in class experience, to be part of a project like this was a dream. It was a masterclass in how to reach an audience and deliver an environment that is beyond expectation.”