Date: Sunday 09 May 2010
LONDON (ShareCast) -
LONDON (AFP)--The Qatari royal family's investment arm is considering whether to open a flagship Harrods outlet in Shanghai after its acquisition of the U.K. store, the Financial Times reported Monday.
Qatar Holding, which bought the landmark London department store for GBP1.5 billion ($2.2 billion) Saturday, might target the Chinese city as a suitable site to export the brand overseas.
"Conventional wisdom is that it would be unwise to open in Paris, New York or Madrid because people there are close enough to be drawn to London," one person familiar with the investment fund told the paper.
"There have been significant discussions about whether to open in Shanghai, but will it be sufficiently far away and different from London not to cannibalize the brand?"
Replicating the success of Harrods abroad is one of four areas being discussed as part of Qatar Holding's three-month review of the business, the FT said.
Others are developing a luxury online store, expanding the Harrods brand beyond souvenirs for the mass market and renovating the London shop to expand selling space.
Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed sold the store in the upscale Knightsbridge district of the U.K. capital during the weekend after nearly a quarter-century in charge.
The 77-year-old Al Fayed, who also owns Europa League finalists Fulham Football Club and the Hotel Ritz Paris, will continue to promote the store as its honorary chairman.
The new owner is the main investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, which trades on behalf of the Gulf state, investing and managing the emirate's oil- and gas-generated wealth.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 09, 2010 23:36 ET (03:36 GMT)
The Two Billion Dollar question is do they try to copy the store in a pastiche homage or does it go to the mall?
In the UK Harrod's pursue the logical into Derek Quinlan's entire city island block known as 'The Estate' next door will if they have an urgent requirement make DQ's clients a very tidy profit