Thursday 26 August 2010

Harrods, Buenos Aires

Image copyright La Nacion

Further to my post earlier this week, my Buenos Aires contact very kindly translated the newspaper article that she sent to me announcing that Harrods Buenos Aires was due to re-open. It is a considerable article so I can only offer a synopsis of it here. However, this store first opened on 31st March 1914 and was in fact the only branch of the store we know so well here in Knightsbridge, London. This store has been closed over a decade (since 1998) and the worked planned renovating it back to its former glory will cost, it is estimated, more than £25m. The new store will "conserve the model of retail store by departments" distributed across five floors. "The upper four floors are planned to be used for hotel services and offices." In a frozen scene from when the store was last open "black and White barbers chairs are still subtly leaned". "The ceilings and floors will be well as the marbles, bevelled glass, and the covering of the impressive columns" . Within the article it also mentions how two doormen, one very tall and one very short would receive customers with an umbrella on rainy days and even the managers offices still have pictures hung on the walls of the celebrities of the time. This is such a fascinating insight to times long gone. With Internet shopping so prevalent this is perhaps indicative of an interesting cultural shift towards shopping habits -albeit locally - and maybe what customers actually want after all? Time will tell. However, as creatures of habit, and our love of nostalgia, perhaps (depending on which sources you read) 'Internet shopping only' customers may still not be in the majority for a little longer?

Images Copyright La Nacion

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