Page 186 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine III

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A Background for Luxury
It’s incredible to think that all this luxury was born from
linen. Back in 1813 Benjamin Harvey opened a linen
shop in a terraced house on the corner of Knightsbridge
and Sloane Street in London. In 1820 the business
passed on to his daughter on the understanding that she
go into partnership with Colonel Nichols, selling Oriental
carpets, silks and luxury goods alongside the linens. 1880
saw the construction of the present building as we know
it today including the front section and facia. Harvey
Nichols was bought by Debenhams in 1919 and in more
recent times – in 1985 – became part of the flourishing
Burton Group. From such a modest conception, a luxury
lifestyle brand has continued to grow and grow and shows
no signs of slowing.
In October 1991 the Harvey Nichols group was acquired
from the Burton Group by Dickson Concepts, an
international retailer and distributor of branded luxury
goods based in Hong Kong and listed on the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange. Consequently, it underwent a major
refurbishment of the Fifth Floor Foodmarket, Restaurant,
Bar and Café. In April 1996 Harvey Nichols Group plc
obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange. The
Group went on to launch The OXO Tower Restaurant,
Bar and Brasserie on London’s south bank and Prism
Restaurant and Bar in the City of London. In the latter
part of the nineties, the Harvey Nichols brand went
from strength to strength and 1996 saw the opening of
its second UK store in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds.
In keeping with the style and retail philosophy of the
London flagship store, Harvey Nichols, Leeds proved a
massive success.
As a result of Harvey Nichols growing success, the first
stand-alone restaurant was launched in 1996. With
breathtaking views of the River Thames, the hugely
lucrative Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie proved
to be a great hit and paved the way for a further restaurant
– Prism- to be opened in 1999 in London’s thriving
financial district. From 2000 onwards, more Harvey
Nichols stores have opened both in the UK and overseas
from the launch of the first overseas store in Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia to the opening of the first small format store at the
Mailbox centre in Birmingham in 2001, the first Scottish
store at St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh in 2002 right
through to the launch of the second Turkish in Ankara in
June 2010 which covers a remarkable 4,100 square metres
of retail space in the Kent Park Mall. Following a period
of almost seven years as a listed company, Harvey Nichols
returned to private ownership in January 2003 and was
de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. Later that
year, the fifth UK store opened its doors in Manchester.
At the end of February 2006, the magnificent Dubai
store opened to the public and became an instant luxury
landmark in the city. Luxury being what Harvey Nichols
is all about.
In Retail Heaven
For a unique shopping experience whilst in London, this
charming high-end department store does come with
price tags to match, but that is part of the appeal – when
you enter Harvey Nichols you feel part of an exclusive set
where you can indulge in a little luxury, explore the myriad
of fragrances at the perfumery, sample the delectable
treats on offer in the food hall and simply lose yourself for
a few hours (or more!). Think of London and think of
time spent happily walking around ‘Harvey Nicks’ as it is
affectionately known, browsing at the incredible designer
clothes and premium beauty ranges.
Harrods may be a top London landmark, but Harvey
Nichols certainly gives it a good run for its money
amongst the fashion elite. You’ll be drawn into the whole
Harvey Nichols experience as soon as you arrive outside
this celebrated store. The window displays are a sight
to behold and help to draw shoppers in to the store, not
that much enticement is necessary as it is few people
who are unaware of the Harvey Nichols brand and the
delights its’ many stores offer. With a more modern
ambience and decor than the traditional Harrods, it
provides a refreshing contrast and with both stores being
in such close proximity, a visit to Knightsbridge really is a
shopaholics dream! With the womenswear alone spread
across three floors, we would recommend you don’t visit
Harvey Nichols in a hurry. This is an experience to savour
and savour is exactly what we did. With some fantastic
vintage selections, I lost Jordana for a good half hour to
the vintage Channel purses! Luckily there was plenty to
catch my eye in the huge menswear department. I was
beginning to work up an appetite.
London’s internationally renowned lifestyle store – Harvey Nichols – began life as a modest linen shop
that opened on the corner of Knightsbridge in 1813. Now a globally recognised retailer, Harvey Nichols
boasts eight stores across the United Kingdom. If you’re planning a shopping trip to London, we would
highly recommend a visit to Harvey Nichols. Having spent a good few hours there ourselves as part of the
A&J diaries ventures, we can impart the benefit of our first-hand experience. Eminent both in the UK and
internationally for the impressive scope of its exclusive fashion merchandise, Harvey Nichols is the place
to shop for many of the world’s most prestigious menswear and womenswear brands as well as a diverse
selection of accessories, beauty, food and homewares.