American Marketer

Events / Causes

Harrods fills retail void with family-oriented Easter activities

March 27, 2013


London department store Harrods is tapping consumers’ holiday spirit for events that encourage foot traffic right before Easter Sunday.

The retailer is offering family-focused activities and Food Hall events on the days leading up to Easter Sunday, which is celebrated internationally March 31. Harrods seems to be taking advantage of its unique opportunity to cater to the whole family so that it can gain traction from consumers at all age levels.

“Too often retailers focus special events just on the target customer – fashion-conscious women and men – rather than realizing the entire family represents a significant selling opportunity,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, Stephens, PA.

“Rather than invite Mom out to Harrod’s alone, you encourage her to bring along the entire family, thus expanding the marketing potential for this visit,” she said.

Ms. Danziger is not affiliated with Harrods, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Harrods was not available for comment before press deadline.

Hopping to Harrods

Harrods this week is hosting a set of children’s activities in its Toy Kingdom and childrenswear departments as well as special events in the Food Hall.

Children and their parents can stop by Toy Kingdom March 29-30 to take part in The Giant Egg Hunt 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Participants must search for missing Easter eggs and figure out a secret password for their chance to win a chocolate hamper.

Also in the two days before Easter, families can create an Easter-themed moving flip book at the Funflip Photo Emporium in Toy Kingdom 1-5 p.m.

The “giant white rabbit” will be at the fourth-floor childrenswear department March 30 to help young visitors decorate eggs and pose for pictures 1-5 p.m.

Parents can also sign-up their children for $113 Easter workshops March 28-30 by the Harrods Chocolate Academy in partnership with Godiva Chocolatier. Participants will make their own chocolate lollipops and decorate a large chocolate egg, bunny or other Easter character.

Children will also receive a goody bag with a youth-sized chef’s hat and apron and a certificate of participation.

Chocolate Academy

Harrods is also holding special events for adults in its Food Hall.

Fiona Cairns, maker of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake, will host an Easter tasting March 27-29.

Harrods is offering personalization by its on-site chefs with the purchase of a white, milk or dark chocolate egg.

The department store has been pushing its events and Easter product range through marketing efforts that span email and social media.

Easter hamper

Generation gap

Harrods is known to attract consumers in different age groups through in-store events and installations.

The department store is currently hosting a Christian Dior takeover to attract trend-savvy consumers.

The French label is featured in all of Harrods’ store windows, a ground-floor pop-up store and a fourth-floor exhibition.

There is also a menu inspired by the brand at Harrods’ The Georgian Restaurant with items such as the lobster sandwich and Dior cupcakes.

But Harrods does not limit its promotions to the fashion world.

Last year the department store extended its Harrods Rewards program to include a new membership for children and parents with exclusive in-store events, contests and benefits that launched with a Twitter scavenger hunt.

Mini Harrods, the club for parents and children ages 2-10, introduced a new line of benefits in conjunction with the opening of Toy Kingdom in July (see story).

Harrods attracts both adults and children, making it a mainstay as both a fashion retailer and children’s store.

“Harrods deserves credit for creating an all-family event for the coming Easter holiday,” Ms. Danziger said.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York