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Iconic luxury department store Harrods to open its first outlet location in a bid to shift excess stock that has built up in its store during the lockdown

May 29, 2020, 17:45 IST
Business Insider
Harrods, one of the world's most exclusive department stores.Barry Lewis/InPictures via Getty Images
  • Iconic London-based luxury department store Harrods is opening its first outlet store.
  • The company said that the new location, which is opening in Westfield shopping center in Shepherd's Bush in July, will be devoted to selling this season's stock that has been trapped in its flagship store during the lockdown.
  • This is an industry-wide issue and many other retailers are being forced to offer steep discounts to clear excess inventory.

Harrods – one of the world's most exclusive luxury department stores – announced plans to open its first outlet store in London as it looks to shift excess stock that has been building up during the lockdown.

The new outlet store will open in July in London's Westfield shopping center in Shepherd's Bush.

The idea is that this new location will be devoted to selling this season's inventory, which has been piling up at its flagship store over the past few months. Meanwhile, its flagship location, which opens next month, will be reserved for its new collection.

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"In the new world in which we find ourselves, the economy needs businesses willing to look at its business model and current operations and think differently to enable growth, while protecting its customers and employees," Harrods managing director Michael Ward said in a statement to the press.

He continued: "Our focus has been on getting our Knightsbridge store back to what it does best; serving our customers, supporting our brand partners and bringing new and exciting experiences to those who pass through our doors."

"Harrods Outlet allows us to enable better social distancing across a larger footprint, move towards the new season decisively and confidently, and retail in a responsible way."

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Retailers around the world are facing the same issue as the pandemic has kept stores closed and customers at home. Because of this many have resorted to steep discounting online to clear stock.

Historically, many retailers would rely on selling leftover inventory to off-price players such as TJ Maxx, as it is known in the US, or TK Maxx in the UK, but as these stores have also remained closed this avenue has dried up.

"That leaves brands trying to generate short-term cash at whatever price you can sell it at," Simeon Siegel, a managing director at BMO Capital Markets, told Business Insider. "Every retailer will have to grapple with this in the foreseeable future."

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