Harrods managing director has warned that UK retailers will not be saved by the V-shaped recovery economists are hoping for, due to travel restrictions over the coming years.

The number of Asian and American tourists visiting London in particular will not return to pre-coronavirus levels until 2022, he suggested in a conversation with London investors, Jefferies.

This will be caused by travel restrictions put in place by Asian governments and an American reluctance to travel abroad, Ward suggested.


MetiNews reported that Ward described the department store’s current and future situation in bleak terms, saying that only 30% of its customers are British or European.

He also said that footfall is down 95%, from 80,000 daily visitors to around only 4,000.

Furthermore, he expects revenue to take a 45% hit this year. It will only do marginally better next year at 35%, he forecast.

This news comes after Harrods reported it would be implementing footfall monitoring technology at the beginning of June, in a bid to improve social distancing measures.

This was at its flagship Knightsbridge store. It also announced plans to open an outlet store in Shepherd’s Bush.

See below for more details:

Harrods to open outlet and invest in footfall monitoring tech to aid social distancing