Shopping in London: 12 Department Stores Other than Harrods

Shopping in London: 12 Department Stores Other than Harrods

London’s huge department stores such as Selfridges, House of Fraser and Harvey Nichols are a paradise for shoppers!

The drop in the pound following Brexit has lured travellers to Britain, and among them are shopping enthusiasts! With goods and services, including luxury items, being more affordable now than before the vote, perhaps it’s time to plan a trip down to – among all other things – shop, shop and shop.

If you’re out from Heathrow and have got some good time to spare in the beautiful city of London, the best place to start is none other than London’s department stores! But let’s keep the tourist favourite Harrods to the side, shall we? London is home to many other department stores where you can get both luxury and affordable goods, and even enjoy a great meal or two!  If Harrods’ been too mainstream for you lately, here’s our compilation of 12 other stores for you to choose from that has been around since the 1800s.

1. Selfridges

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On the west end of London’s popular Oxford Street lies Selfridges, one of the world’s best department stores. Its whopping six floors accommodate 10 acres of mesmerising shopping paradise that boasts a huge collection of affordable and premium fashion brands, such as Aldo, Mulberry and Prada. It also has the world’s largest denim department, selling more than 11,000 pairs of jeans from over 60 brands across 25,000 square feet of retail space. If you need help in finding the perfect fit, product specialists will be keen to guide you along. You may also browse through the lookbooks available.

Apart from fashion, Selfridge offers other commodities at its watches, jewellery, home furnishings and electronics. There is also a 19-square-feet Wonder Room on the ground floor that is a luxury haven for high-end brands of jewellery, sunglasses, watches and many more. The six floors also house 11 brilliant dining options at which you could stop by if you need a good cup of coffee or a well-deserved dinner after all that walking and shopping!

Known to be an iconic landmark of London, Selfridges is the draw of Oxford Street, don’t forget to drop by, even if it is to admire its wonderful facade! Apart from London, you can also patronise the department stores in Birmingham, Manchester Trafford and Manchester Exchange Square.  

2. Liberty

shopping in londonImage credit: Stig Nygaard

Image credit: Hernán Piñera

One of London’s most traditional stores, Liberty dates back to 1875! Having started off as a small shop on Regent Street selling ornaments and fabrics from the East, it now comprises six floors of an astounding range of luxury fashion and beauty brands that celebrates fine design and craftsmanship. We’re talking about Vivienne Westwood, Chloe, Valentino, Mondaine, Philippe Audibert and what not. Liberty is definitely for the sophisticated shopper!

3. John Lewis

Image credit: Stephen Richards  

John Lewis is a popular chain of department stores that has branches across the United Kingdom, with its first at London’s Oxford Street in 1864. That’s older than Liberty by almost 10 years! This flagship store first kicked off as a drapery shop but now houses a humongous range of commodities, from beds, cushions and kitchenware to men and women fashion, beauty essentials and electronic products, all spanning across its eight floors! There are also four restaurants for you to have some delicious food, including a coffee shop! It was only a few years later in 1906 that the owner opened another store, Peter Jones, at London’s Sloane Square, offering a similar shopping experience. These two stores are about 15 to 20 minutes apart by car, but you could also choose to cycle!

4. House of Fraser

shopping in londonImage credit: James Pett

Another well-known shopping jewel on Oxford Street is House of Fraser, highly patronised by customers looking for exclusive and high-end design brands. We’re talking about DKNY, Max Mara, Ted Baker, BIBA, Linea, Hugo Boss, etc. House of Fraser along Oxford Street is just one of the 60 over outlets in the United Kingdom, but if you’re already there, don’t miss this 160-year old store!

5. Harvey Nichols

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In the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street lies the flagship store of Harvey Nichols that was first founded as a linen store in a terrace house in 1831. It expanded its properties over the years and in 1889, the space was demolished to make way for its new department store that we know of today. It now hosts eight floors of men and women fashion clothing, as well as beauty and other lifestyle products across a wide range of brands such as America Vintage, Bobbi Brown, Polo Ralph Lauren, Police, Urban Decay and many others. The fifth floor is filled with food and restaurants, including a bar that offers a good variety of delicacies such a sushi and burger. There is also a food market for you to shop for national and international produce, and everything necessarily to fill your pantry.

6. Fenwick of Bond Street

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Fenwick of Bond Street is the second store that was opened by John James Fenwick in 1891, the first being in Newcastle nine years earlier. Initially specialising in exclusive ladies tailoring, the two shops gained more traction among visitors who patronised them for their newest ideas and styles that bred from a combination of different goods from specialised merchants — drapers, bakers, ironmongers, etc. And thus the department store took its leap. From international fashion, jewellery and beauty lines like Mother of Pearl, Bella Freud, Kate Spade New York and MAC Cosmetics to cookware brands like Bosch and Cath Kidston, Fenwick on Bond Street is an oasis of exclusive products of all top range quality. And of course, dining options are available too — you can choose to relax at the Carluccio and Bodysm cafes or check out the modern British dishes at the Bond Street Kitchen. Have some wine too while at it!

7. Fortnum and Mason

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Image credit: Howard Chalkley

This is the oldest on our list! Founded in 1707 as a classic English grocery store, Fortnum and Mason grew over the Victorian era by supplying quality food, homewares, clothes and other necessities. From tea, coffee, wine and spirits to candles, picnic baskets, China and silverware, Fortnum Mason provides a variety of exotic provisions in different specialities. The store also houses restaurants such an iconic British tea salon, the Diamond Jubilee, as well as The Parlour which offers innovative and unique new ice-cream flavours along with artisan coffee, hot chocolate and wine. Even if shopping here doesn’t entice you, you could still explore and take in the aura of this quintessential English store situated at Piccadilly. Oh, did we tell you that Fortnum and Mason is the official grocer to the Queen?

8. Debenhams

Image credit: Stephen Richards

We’re back to Oxford Street again; this time it’s Debenhams! This flagship store offers affordable ranges of seasonal clothes, bags, shoes, toys, as well as homewares and cookwares. The gifts department is also well stocked and will spoil you with its myriad of choices! With a dazzling beauty hall and a stunning menswear level, this seven-floor store will probably be your go-to place indeed if you intend to do some great shopping within your budget.

9. Selbys

Image credit: James Selby 

Located on Holloway Road, one of the main shopping streets in the northern part of London, Selbys is a three-level department store that offers everything you’d expect — men and women fashion and accessories, children apparel and toys, furniture and beds, and electrical equipment such as kitchen gadgets and audio devices.

10. Morleys of Brixton

Image credit: Morleys in Brixton 

Long standing on Brixton Road since the 1880s, Morleys of Brixton is a four-level department store offering very much similar items as Selbys — men, women and children fashion and accessories, homewares and electrical goods. It is housed in a partially red-bricked building, giving the facade a good combination of the modern and the rustic. From brands such as Wallis, Evans and Dorothy Perkins to White Stuff and Barbour, Morleys of Brixton will cater well to the mid-range high street shoppers, and less to those looking for luxury purchases. Nonetheless, if you’re around Brixton, you can get some shopping done right here too!

11. Marks and Spencer

Ishopping in londonmage credit: Ewan Munro

Marks and Spencer is probably a name not unheard of, but this is a whole multi-level department store we’re talking about! Situated at Marble Arch on, once again, Oxford Street, this flagship store is a haven for affordable buys — clothes, lingerie, flowers, furniture, toys, food and wine — the list goes on. There is also a splendid M&S Cafe for you to relax at, as well as a food hall, all in place to feed the tireless shopper!

12. Bentalls

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Image credit: Colin Smith

Once a drapery shop in Kingston upon Thames in 1867, Bentalls is now a departmental store known to be the one-stop place for anything you need — men, women and children fashion, handbags beauty, homeware and electronics from brands like Ted Baker, Diesel, French Connection, Hammonds and many more. There are also beauty salons such as the Nails Inc, Clarins Red Room and Glow Bar. You can also grab some delicious food, including sushi and doughnuts, as well as some delicious coffee or wine.

Also read: Best Day Trips from London

Do you have a favourite on this list? Let us know why!

About Author

Parveen Maghera
Parveen Maghera

An avid non-fiction reader, Parveen loves digging deep into stories of unique individuals, be they from Europe or the Middle East. Indeed, if travelling was free, you won't see her again. It is her wish to embark on a world tour some time in her future. You might just see her selfie-ing with the Eiffel Tower, or even consuming the aura of Swat Valley with other native Afghans.


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