Harrods aiming to become "THE destination for toys"

ToyNews gets the inside scoop on Harrods' new Toy Kingdom from the store's director of home.
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London's luxury department store Harrods has refurbished its toy area for the first time in over 20 years.
Its new Toy Kingdom consists of six separate ‘worlds’ across a whopping 26,000 square feet. 

Harrods says it has invested millions of pounds on the refit in a bid to make the retail experience as interactive as possible for customers.

Harrod’s director of home David Miller (above) told ToyNews: “It’s a multi-million pound investment for the business. Of course we want the customers to come in and shop, and the navigation is such so they can see the different brands and categories, but at the same time we want them to say, “wow”.

(See our picture gallery of Harrods' Toy Kingdom)

“We want this to be the destination place in the world for people to come and see what toys have to offer.”
The ‘4D’ toy department now consists of six areas – circus-themed The Big Top, sweet-centric The Candy Store, The Enchanted Forest, Wonderland (complete with a giant dragon and the most ‘jaw-dropping toys’), space-inspired The Odyssey and The Reading Room.

Different toy categories are spread throughout the six worlds.

“It’s all about retail theatre,” added Miller. “Most toy experiences are in supermarkets or Toys R Us these days, where there isn’t much of a shopping experience. We wanted to make it totally interactive – part theme park, part retail space.”

Harrods says that toys stand out from the store’s other luxury departments and help customers have a ‘magical’ experience.

“The kids of today are the customers tomorrow,” added Miller. “We want them to engage in the Harrods brand and make them feel we’re not just a high-end luxury department store. We’ve got something for everybody and you can come down and just have a magical experience.

“I was very conscious of the fact that the toy department was old and hadn’t been refurbished since about 1990, whereas the rest of the store had a lot of investment. And the toy area touches every part of our customer base. 

“Toys have a really big connection with our customers and they are essential to the fabric of the Harrods DNA.
“When you look at the demographics, our highest spending customers, our most loyal customers and our once-a-year customers all shop within toys.”

Harrods also kicked off a big social media and press campaign to advertise the toy refit ahead of the Olympics, as well as holding a launch event with celebrities and the media attending. There will be another marketing push in October.

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