6/13/14

Harrods of Rangataua

Even if you've never been to London, you have probably heard of Harrod's, the world's most famous department store, at some time or another. We even have a Harrod's in New Zealand, but it's not quite as famous. This Harrods was once the general store of Rangataua but, for many years it has been a family ski house that sleeps 17! You can rent it for $300-$500 per night.
harrods-nz


Some Harrods trivia, according to Wikipedia: 
In 1986, the town of Otorohanga briefly changed its name to "Harrodsville". This was a protest in support of a restaurateur, Henry Harrod of Palmerston North, who was being forced to change the name of his restaurant following the threat of lawsuits from Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of Harrod's department store in London.
As a show of solidarity for Henry Harrod and in anticipation of actions against other similar sounding businesses, it was proposed that every business in Otorohanga should change its name to "Harrods". With support of the District Council, Otorohanga temporarily changed the town's name to Harrodsville.
After being lampooned in the British tabloid newspapers, Al Fayed dropped the legal action and Harrodsville and its shops reverted to their former names.
The town's response raised widespread media interest around the world, with the BBC World Service and newspapers in Greece, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Canada covering the story.

Weekend Reflections

Weekly Top Shot

*edit* On the 5th of May, 2015, I got this lovely email about Harrod's:

I have been searching Harrods of Rangataua on the web just to see what comes up and saw your lovely blog.
I just thought I would let you know the History of this Harrods.
It was the general store of Rangataua from 1908-1964, During this time it had a petrol pumps, a garage, chicken coops, hairdresser as well as the general store. In 1981, 3 couples including my parents bought the building as a ski House.  A friend of theirs who came to see the new house and said that as it was the worst store in the world it should be named after the "Best Store" in the world and so we have Harrods of Rangataua.
We were not involved in the "Harrodsville" situation. Many years before this happened we had received a letters from the London store asking to remove our signs. The 6 owners were all in London as the same time and visited management , showed them photos of our quirky family holiday house and as long as we never trade as a retail store and we can keep our signs up.
We rent Harrods out to help with the maintenance and annual bills of the property but it is largely as it was in 1981 when my parents purchased it.
It was nice to see and old photo of her.
Thanks Kate   

8 comments:

Roan said...

What a great story! Solidarity!

Mike Biles said...

That's a good story - I hadn't heard that. Some of these corporate guys really get up themselves and it's good to hear when they're taken on, lampooned and beaten. Having said that, I do enjoy visiting Harrods - used to take the kids there at Christmas just to see the toy department. Interesting that the logo/script style looks very similar to the one in NZ - I suggest they sue.

Margaret Adamson said...

That was an interesting story. Have a good weekend.

Cynthia said...

Then you and 16 of your best friends could tweet, Slept at Harrod's last night! And everyone would be soooo jealous.
I bought my first rucksack, as it was called then, at Harrod's in the 1960s and that was the beginning of my travels in the world. :-)

Abby / Linda said...

Wonderful for the town to stand up with him! Great story!!!!

Felicia said...

I like this Harrod's better than the one in London or wherever.

Malyss said...

I like this story very much !

bailey-road.com said...

Great story!