Harrods' £200m makeover: New escalators, swanky shoes and luxury gifts section

Harrods is set to unveil its new look after getting a £200m makeover.

The Knightsbridge store will officially open its new escalator linking all seven floors on 4 November. The escalator is adorned with fluted bronze that matches the fluted columns on the outside of the building, the Standard reports.

The refurbishment is taking place after the store’s new owners, the Qatari royal family’s sovereign fund Qatar Holding, raised their budget for the makeover.

The Qataris bought the 1.2 million square foot store from Mohamed Fayed for £1.5bn in May 2010.

Harrods claims that its new fifth floor shoe department, due to open in August next year, will be the biggest of its kind in Europe.

The Way In fashion section has been converted into a 30,000 square foot “Fashion Lab” with cast concrete floor tiles, crackle-glazed wall panels, steel and metal grid ceiling.

The ground floor’s soft accessories room has been replaced by a luxury jewellery department designed by Czech-born architect Eva Jiricna.

The luxury gifts room on the second floor will be fitted with Belgian blue marble walkways, distressed antique glass columns and gold wallpaper from China.

Martin Illingworth, Harrods director of store development, told the Standard: “Old buildings like this need to have a lot of spending. It is effectively a heritage site and a lot has to be spent to maintain it. We couldn’t close the store for the refurbishment work, so it is a bit of a juggling act.

“We wanted to take the old features and bring them back to life, but with all the newness as well — that’s a wonderful combination. English Heritage wants to see old buildings brought back to life and used properly, otherwise they start decaying.”

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