Known as “the top people’s store”, Harrods, founded in 1849, now claims to attract up to 300,000 people on peak days. However, it has also suffered the high-profile resignation of several directors. The controversial Egyptian businessman Mohamed al-Fayed – who recently switched residence from Britain to Switzerland after a dispute with the Inland Revenue – bought the Knightsbridge store in 1985 for £615m after a takeover battle with Lonrho. Harrods’ seven floors claim to offer 1.2m products, generating annualised sales of £531m in 2002, when it had 4,795 staff.
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