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Harvey Nichols at the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street in London
Harvey Nichols on Briggate in Leeds. This was the second branch in the world.
A Harvey Nichols advertisement encourages women to buy a pair of shoes
A branch store in Central, Hong Kong

Harvey Nichols ("Harvey Nichs"), founded in 1813, is an upmarket department store chain. Its original store is in London, Founded in 1813 as a linen shop, it offers many of the world's most prestigious brands in womenswear, menswear, accessories, beauty and food. Harvey Nichols attracts more younger shoppers than its rival Harrods but tends to be more expensive.

Contents

History

In 1813, Benjamin Harvey opened a linen shop in a terraced house on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street in London. The business passed on to Harvey's daughter in 1820 on the understanding that she go into partnership with Colonel Nichols, selling Oriental carpets, silks, and luxury goods alongside the linens.

The existing Knightsbridge store was opened in the 1880s, with the rear section added in 1932.

In 1919, Harvey Nichols was bought by Debenhams and in 1985 became part of the Burton Group. In 1991, the store was acquired by Dickson Concepts an international retailer and distributor of branded luxury goods based in Hong Kong and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In April 1996, Harvey Nichols obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange and for next seven years, remained a listed company. 1996 also marks the year when Harvey Nichols opened their first store outside of London.

February 2003, however, saw the controversial return of Harvey Nichols to private ownership. The store is now owned by the Hong Kong-based businessman Dr. Dickson Poon whose retail businesses extend to North America, Europe, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.

Overview

In the United Kingdom, Harvey Nichols has stores in London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. It also has a store in Al-Faysaliyah Tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a store at Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin in Ireland and one in Central, Hong Kong. It opened a store in Istanbul's Kanyon Shopping Mall on October 13, 2006. In February 2006, it opened a store in Dubai, designed by architecture firm Callison in the Mall of the Emirates. In addition they have a store in the Grand Indonesia Mall (Jakarta) which opened in October 2008 to serve their South East Asian based customers. The London flagship store is located in Knightsbridge. Rival store Harrods is only a few streets away.

In addition to its fashion retailing business, Harvey Nichols redeveloped the top floor of its London flagship store to create a restaurant, bar, café, wine shop, and foodmarket. A similar concept operates from the top floors of all Harvey Nichols full-size stores. Main competitors of Harvey Nichols on the worldwide gourmet and luxury food products scene include Harrods and Fortnum & Mason in London and Fauchon and Hédiard in Paris.


In 1996, Harvey Nichols launched its first stand-alone restaurant in London, the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar, and Brasserie, viewing the River Thames. Another restaurant, called Prism, was opened in the city's financial district in 1999. Both OXO and Prism, and three of the in-store restaurants, were designed by London-based architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

Harvey Nichols Grand Indonesia, also designed by Callison, opened in Jakarta in October 2008. Harvey Nicks in Jakarta is often called the first Harvey Nichols in South East Asia.[1].

Two new stores were announced on January 25, 2009. They are planned to open in Kuwait in 2011 and in Nottingham in 2012/13.

In January 2010, the Westfield Group publicly announced that Harvey Nichols has been invited to open its second store in the Southern Hemisphere at the $A860 million Westfield Sydney by 2012 [2].

Harvey Nichols Bristol store at Cabot Circus opened in September 2008. The tower above is luxury flats.

Controversy

Soon after opening a new store in Edinburgh in 2002, managers faced an official complaint after staff tried to stop a homeless man selling the Big Issue magazine outside. [3]

Summer 2003: Objections were made to a magazine advertisement that appeared in Vogue, ELLE and Harpers & Queen and on a poster. The complainants objected that the advertisement was irresponsible, because it showed unsafe driving and was offensive to people who had been, or who knew people who had been, involved in road accidents. [1]

On 20 March 2004, protests stopped Harvey Nichols selling fur. In a statement, Clive Morton, the Company Director of Harvey Nichols, said: "The board has today reviewed the company’s fur policy and has decided going forward that we will no longer stock real fur items." [2]

On 13 September 2005, 22-year-old Clare Bernal, a beautician working on the ground floor at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge was shot repeatedly at close range by Michael Pech, her obsessed former lover. Pech then turned the gun on himself, suffering a fatal head wound.[4]

In August 2007 Harvey Nichols decided to take Foie Gras off the shelves in all their stores, nationwide, in response to pressure from PETA.

The UK rap duo The Mitchell Brothers recorded a song, entitled 'Harvey Nicks' comically looking at how the pair are frowned upon in the shop when they enter wearing inappropriate clothing. Another UK rapper, Plan B, recorded the song 'Some1 Switched In Harvey Nicks' after reading the story of Clare Bernal (see above) in the newspaper while supporting The Mitchell Brothers during a concert. He made the song available for free download as he did not feel it was right to make money from the incident, but also did not want to see the song wasted. At a Tiscali music session he played an acoustic version of the song, with the guitar of Radiohead's song 'Street Spirit (Fade Out.)'

References

External links

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