Harrod's The New Target

by AMANDA MELILLO · February 21, 2008

harrodsIn my under-caffeinated stated this morning, I felt a jolt of excitement when I read the New York Sun's headline "Harrod's, or a Big Retailer, is Sought for Seaport." Sadly, the entire gist of the article is captured in this headline, since Harrod's is only mentioned once in the article as a POTENTIAL retailer to reinvigorate the downtown commercial space that we suburbs kids used to frequent every time we took a field trip into the city—because clearly the only place to take 'burbs city-crashers" is to a charming yet somewhat lame tiny mall that reeks of fish outside. Other names floated in the article were Harvey Nichol's, Barney's and Target. (I love Target. I do. But how it ended up in the same category as Harrod's and Barney's, I'll never know.)Let's take a moment to think about what a New York City Harrod's would be like, especially if it moved in to South Street Seaport. If you've ever been to the one in London, you'll know that it's a department store on STEROIDS. It not only puts everyone from Macy's to Nordstrom's to shame, it grinds its boot heel in their faces. Harrod's, albeit overwhelming for a newcomer, is a one-stop shop for everything you'll ever need, from designer perfume and diamonds to slabs of meat that you can get from the butcher shop that's next to the Rolls Royce parked in the store. They put golden Sphinxes in their Egyptian Hall, which means it's the only place I've ever been where I'm shopping for clothes and expecting to fall into a pyramid at the same time.

What would happen to Harrod's if it moved to South Street Seaport? I'm pretty sure that we won't get our own Egyptian Hall, since New Yorkers don't like distraction when they're bargain-hunting in a hurry, and also don't have a post-colonial complex about Africa and Asia up until the mid twentieth century. (We just have an imperial complex circa now. But whatever.) I'm also willing to bet it won't include a high-end foods market, and it will leave the Rolls at home in London. So a New York Harrod's would be like…Macy's. Except with their awesome emporium shop with the cutest Buckingham Palace Guard teddy bears ever….although would we even get THAT?