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    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    London's Harrods moves into c-store biz.

    LONDON -- Harrods, the London department store beloved of the filthy rich, celebrities and foreign royalty, is making a move into late-night convenience stores, reported the Britain’s The Independent .

    A grocery store called Harrods 102 will open opposite the Knightsbridge store in February, selling food to shoppers too busy to fight crowds in the flagship store. Industry watchers are speculating that if the shop is a commercial success, Harrods 102 will open in cities across the country, reported The Independent .

    Harrods' push into the c-store market will involve gourmet goods far removed from everyday foods in most neighborhood stores. Fine cuts of meat and expensive cheeses and coffees are expected to replace the traditional baked beans or milk.

    Harrods 102 will have a "lifestyle" convenience theme, opening probably between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. and feature fashionable products from the shop's renowned food hall. There is also likely to be a café, according to the report.

    "You will be able to order coffee with your croissants. It won't just be a luxury convenience store," a Harrods spokeswoman told The Independent .

    Inside the shop a trendy "oxygen spa" will sell stressed shoppers 10-minute blasts of high-concentration oxygen from masks.

    The development represents another high-profile departure from Harrods' origins as a destination department store. Since fighting off Tiny Roland's bid to buy Harrods in 1985, the shop's flamboyant owner, Mohamed al-Fayed, has relentlessly expanded the brand, reported The Independent .




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