Hot on the heels of the opening of Europe’s largest women’s shoe department in Selfridges, Harrods has unveiled what it says is Europe’s largest men’s shoe department — right across the city of London.
The Men’s Shoe Salon at the famed Knightsbridge retailer unveiled its new look last week, after a revamp outfitted it with sleek marble floors, opulent glass display cases, rich ochre rugs and custom-made leather chairs to evoke the masculinity and glamour of mid-20th century New York.
“The space is 8,000 square feet, making it the largest men’s shoe and accessories department in Europe, [and it’s] part of an overall strategy to offer the ultimate retail experience in menswear and exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Harrods’ GMM of menswear, Jason Broderick.
Sales targets for the new department, which counts labels such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, Oliver Sweeney, Paul Smith and Hugo Boss as staples, are high, Broderick told Footwear News. “We are expecting double-digit growth within the new Men’s Shoe Salon,” he said.
“We are very confident that we will see an uplift in sales from the newly opened Men’s Shoe Salon at Harrods, [which] will bring together the most sought-after designers,” said Bernd Hake, managing director of Hugo Boss U.K. “This will create [both] interest and footfall.”
Tim Cooper, cobbler-in-chief at Oliver Sweeney, which has been in Harrods for 20 years, also said sales of the brand continue to build there. “It’s great to see Harrods investing to make it a luxury shoe destination,” he said.
Luxury will, in fact, be key at the Men’s Shoe Salon, which now features an Exotics Room housing shoes and accessories in precious skins — such as made-to-order Stemar kicks in alligator for 12,000 pounds — and stocks 18 new brands, including Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga and Alden.
For British label Jimmy Choo, Harrods was a natural choice in which to stock its upcoming men’s collection.
“Men’s luxury shoes are the next logical growth area of the industry, and the increase in square footage dedicated to men’s shoes at global retailers such as Harrods, Le Bon Marche, Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman serves to reinforce this point,” said Joshua Schulman, Jimmy Choo’s CEO, adding that he is “very encouraged by the initial response from Harrods and all our wholesale partners” for the brand’s first men’s collection hitting stores in July.
The department also will sell 100 exclusive styles, from such brands as Acne, D&G, Prada, Santoni, Tod’s and Tom Ford.
“Over the last few months, we have seen an increase in sales and footfall from international visitors, particularly from China and the U.S.,” said Broderick. “Our made-to-order service from brands such as Zegna, Stemar, Magnanni and Bally is testament to the way we are broadening our appeal to many of our international clients.”