Retailing: What Brings Them There

Despite Britain's various economic ills, one thriving enterprise racked up record sales of over $60 million last year. This was Harrods department store, a venerable London institution, where a good portion of the total—some $14 million—was spent by non-British customers. Foreigners were so thick on the ground at Harrods earlier this month that, as Managing Director Alfred Spence recalls, "You were hard pressed to find English spoken in some departments." What brings them there is partly a feeling that shopping at Harrods is a dignified, particularly English experience.

Back in 1849, when...

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