Harrods targets new niche in luxury convenience retail

By Anita Awbi

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Retailing

Harrods is set to open a late-night gourmet food and drink outlet
opposite their flagship Knightsbridge store to tap into the booming
convenience food sector.

The new store called Harrods 102 opens on Brompton Road in February, supplying luxury products and services to an upmarket clientele.

Fresh produce, takeaway food and health and wellbeing products will be available in a one-stop 7-11 style shop. Yo! Sushi will provide fresh fish and there may be an on-site spa for weary shoppers.

The move is in response to a "noticeable polarisation of the marketplace"​, said Harrods spokesperson Andre Dang.

"We are seeing some people shopping exclusively at supermarkets while others try to avoid them opting for farmers markets and organic delis because they care about food quality,"​ he said.

The new store hopes to incorporate the best of both worlds by providing the same quality of food as the main Harrods food hall with the added convenience of a self-service environment.

Speculators have suggested the brand may expand into a chain if the project proves popular, but the retailer has refuted these claims.

According to new figures from the retail research group IGD the British convenience retail market is currently worth £23.9 bn, up 4.9 per cent from 2004. It constitutes the largest growth-area for food retailers and signals an upward trend in consumers' preference for local convenience stores.

Tesco more than doubled their Express and Metro stores in 2004, having converted some Adminstore and 1-Stops to fit their successful blueprint.

And Harrod's closest quality-foods competitor in the industry, the Marks and Spencers Simply Food chain, grew from 49 to 122 in 2004, though sales figures do not confirm its success.

But with the economy-brand Co-operative Group owning the largest share of stores - currently 72 per cent - convenience shoppers may not respond to Harrod's exclusive retail experience.

Related topics: Market Trends

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