Shopping in Londons West End, Londons West End department stores, Londons iconic department stores, Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum and Masons, Tiffanys, Liberty & Co, Harvey Nicholls, nearest underground stations for Londons iconic department stores, addresses of Londons iconic department stores, Bond Street shopping, Regent Street shopping, Oxford Street shopping, Knightsbridge shopping
London's West End shopping area is the largest shopping venue in Europe and is considered to be home to some of Europe's most expensive retail outlets.
No visit to London is complete without taking a look around these iconic department stores, some of which have been trading to London high society for over a hundred years.
The most famous of these locations are Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent's Street situated off London's Picadilly and the Mayfair areas of Sloane Street and Knightsbridge, where the flagship stores of every British retailer and hundreds of designer stores can be found.
World reknowned names such as Harrod's, Selfridges and Harvey Nicks can be found along these London streets, some of which are the largest stores in the country.
For those of you for whom shopping is the ultimate pastime, no classier or more upmarket venue will you find within the whole of the United Kingdom.
As well as the luxury shopping experience these stores offer, most of them are architectural masterpieces, both inside and out, particularly the ones situated in the Regent's Street Conservation Area, whose every building is grade II listed.
Below I will introduce you to these iconic, department stores, along with their addresses and the nearest underground ( tube / metro ) stations for ease of access to them.
Below each store name is a link for other shops, local attractions, restaurants and hotels along the same street.
Image courtesy of Andrew meredith, wikimedia commons.
FORTNUM AND MASON.
Fortnum and Mason, founded by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason in 1707, originally started life as a high class grocery shop, that went on to secure a Royal Warrant to Queen Charlotte.
Today their Picadilly store, now owned and managed by Wittington Investments, is one of the oldest retailers in London, and still serves the British Royal Family.
The shop is synonomous with high end, luxury foodstuffs, but also sells a large range of gift ware and table wares.
The store is also famous throughout London for it's afternoon teas which are served in it's upscale restaurant.
Their address is 181 Picadilly and the nearest underground station is Picadilly Circus.
Situated on six floors with retail space covering 5 acres, the Harrod's store is the largest store in the United Kingdom.
Founded in 1898 by draper, Charles Henry Harrod, this iconic London store has had only five owners in it's lifetime, the most famous of whom was Mohammed Al Fayed.
Today the store is owned and managed by Qatar Holdings and is run by 5,000 staff who regularly see upwards of 300,000 customers a day.
The store has 300 departments and 32 restaurants and sells just about anything money can buy.One could go into Harrod's and buy a complete wardrobe, furnish an entire house, book a holiday, fill up the freezer and eat any type of meal your heart desires, without ever having to leave the building.
As well as being a British record breaker, the store also has a world's first to it's credit, when in 1898 the store was the first to have escalators fitted.
Harrod's is located at 87 - 135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge and can be accessed from the south side of Knightsbridge Underground Station.
Fondly known as Harvey Nicks, this neighbour of Harrods, was founded originally by Benjamin Harvey in 1813. The store was taken over by his daughter who went into business with a Colonel Hicholls in 1880.
The store is synonomous with high end fashion for the younger market, but like it's neighbour Harrods, also has a giant, upmarket food hall and a reknowned restaurant.
Today the store is owned and managed by the Westfield Group.
The store can be found on the corner of Knightbridge and Sloane Street and is accessed by using the north side of Knightsbridge Underground Station.
Image courtesy of Luis Villa Del Campo, wikimedia commons.
LIBERTY & Co.
Arthur Liberty founded his London shop in 1875 and became famous throughout London high society for selling oriental, objet d'art.
As the years went on Liberty's store moved into the fashion market, still with it's emphasis on an Oriental theme.
In 1920 the store received a facelift during the Tudor revival period of that time, using the timbers of the two former warships HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan, to make the grade II listed facade we see today.
The store went on to become a leading light in extravagant and luxurious clothing and is considered to be the most prestigious of all London's shops for luxury clothing and accessories.
The store has entrances on both Regent's Street and Great Marlborough Street and can be accessed from Oxford Circus Underground Station.
Image courtesy of Russ London, wikimedia commons.
Selfridges was founded in 1909 by American, Harry Gordon Selfridge and became reknowned throughout London for it's unique methods of display.
Selfridge is the innovator of the ' interactive customer display' and it is down to him that we have the department stores we have today, where the shopper is allowed to try and test items before they buy.
Selfridges' most famous display of that time was his perfume counter, where customers were able to test the perfumes before buying them, something London's high end shoppers fell in love with and which set a trend to this day.
Today Selfridges' is owned and managed by Galen Weston and is housed in the United Kingdom's second largest department store ( 50,000 square metres ) at 400 Oxford Street. Access to the store can be made from both Marble Arch and Oxford Circus Underground Stations.
Tiffany's was founded in New York city in 1837 by jeweller Charles Lewis Tiffany, but it was his son, artist Louis Comfort Tiffany who made Tiffany a household name, by way of his work with stained glass, an art known as favrile glass.
Today Tiffany's have shops all over the world and are reknowned for their upmarket and high end silverware and jewelry pieces, particularly diamond jewelry.
Their flagship, London store is located at 25 Old Bond Street and is accessed from Green Park Underground Station.
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