// Harrods to open Westfield London outlet store to shift excess seasonal stock unsold due to the coronavirus crisis
// The new two-storey outlet store will open in July
// Its Knightsbridge flagship will reopen on June 15 as per government guidelines
Harrods has unveiled its lockdown exit plans, which includes opening an outlet store in Westfield London to help shift excess seasonal stock unsold due to the coronavirus crisis.
While the outlet store in the west London shopping centre will open in July, Harrods said its Knightsbridge flagship will reopen on June 15 as per government guidance.
The luxury retailer said the new two-storey Westfield outlet will stock a selection of items from fashion, beauty, accessories and other departments across Harrods.
- Harrods to offer remote personal shopping amid lockdown
- Non-essential retailers to reopen from June 15, government says
The selection will be edited from the Harrods sale, which will also be hosted more widely online.
Harrods said the new outlet store would allow its Knightsbridge flagship to avoid the threat of Covid-19 transmission from a sudden influx of customers, and allowing it to reopen “with the strongest social distancing measures in place, hosting selected seasonal reductions but with a focus on new and exclusive edits”.
It added: “The concept store has been designed to support higher levels of social distancing by allowing more space for customers, enabling a wider product selection of new-season product in the Knightsbridge store, as well as supporting the business in retailing existing stock in a responsible and sustainable way.”
The concept store is also not the first time Harrods has branched out of its Knightsbridge flagship, such as the first H Beauty concept store in Lakeside.
Harrods was among many retailers that took the initiative to temporarily close its stores a few days before the government-mandated lockdown came into place on March 24 in the lead-up to the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said non-essential shops – including fashion retailers and department stores – will be able to reopen their stores from June 15.
Harrods said it has been preparing to reopen its flagship was “ready to resume its operations” but with significant social distancing measures in place.
Other measures to be implemented include footfall monitoring technology to limit capacity in-store and ensure social distancing can be maintained, along with clear signage to direct customers and staff, specific doors for entering and exiting the building and an enhanced cleaning program.
“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.
“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.
“Harrods has always sought to find creative solutions and has never been afraid to take the unexpected route.”