November 2, 2018
British department store Harrods is branching into the United States for the first time with strategic partner Williams Sonoma in hopes to capture the market with minimal risk.
The brands are working together to provide a curated list of items available in the U.S. online. While the partnership marks the first time Harrods will have a presence in the U.S., its partnership and digital push allows for less risk than opening a full store to gauge interest in the area.
“Williams Sonoma is committed to bringing our customers the world’s best products and offering exclusive experiences,” said Janet Hayes, president of Williams Sonoma.
Williams Sonoma and Harrods have had an existing partnership, which began earlier this year.
The British department store unveiled the first phase of the renovation of its Food Halls with the opening of a new Roastery and Bake Hall, which Williams Sonoma assisted on.
Dubbed “The Taste Revolution,” Harrods’ two-year remodel plan marks the first major update to its culinary department in three decades. With its roots as a grocer, Harrods is looking to create food concepts that will make it ready for the future (see story).
Harrods' flagship London store. Image credit: Harrods
With all these changes happening in London, the retailer is continuing its growth with the jump across the pond into the States.
Its collection includes 15 different items from Harrods’ stores, available for purchase online at Williams Sonoma’s Web site. This array is housed on a page dedicated specially to Harrods.
Opening this page is a video introducing Harrods' brand, allowing a U.S. audience to get acquainted with its experience. With footage of the store, the short tells the story of the retailer's lengthy history, from its opening in 1834 as a grocer to some of its more modern developments.
Harrods is teaming with Williams Sonoma
Since the items being sold through Williams Sonoma were curated, Harrods gives a history to the product selections before each category. The strategy creates a bond with shoppers, making these items feel like a special purchase.
Harrods’ collection features a variety of hampers, gift baskets, biscuits, teas and nuts, as it continues to show off its heritage as a grocer.
For instance, one hamper, named the Luxury Extravagance Hamper, costs $999.95 and includes salted truffles, dark chocolate, ginger biscuits and various jams and teas.
The remaining hampers are priced between $599.95 to $199.95, with similar offerings.
Harrods' page on Williams Sonoma
Harrods' other items include a Tea Tim Gift Box, Biscuit Assortment, Loose Leaf Tea Gift Pack, Cocoa Dust Almonds, No. 14 Breakfast Blend Tea Bag, Shortbread Tin and Toffees.
In addition, British department store Harrods further investigated into experiential shopping as it opens its new Fine Wine & Spirits Rooms.
Wine and spirits enthusiasts are now able to journey through impressive architecture to discover their new favorite labels and products. Harrods’ new rooms will also host a series of events in an effort to establish the retailer as an authority within the alcohol industry (see story).
“Our collaboration with Harrods allows us to provide our customers with food products and gifts from one of the most iconic brands in the world," Ms. Hayes said.