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Liberty Department Store – The Mini Harrods?

BY Boon Koh
Published 27 July 2009

I came across some news articles the other day that reminded me that I had some pictures of Liberty that I had tucked away on my computer and forgotten to upload to The London Insider!

For those who do not know, the Liberty department store in London is like the hidden younger sister of Harrod’s or Selfridges. Tucked away near Oxford Circus on Great Marlborough Street, not many tourists know about it and not many Londoners do either! While Harrods is somewhat garish with its faux-Egyptian theme, and Selfridges trying to adopt the sleek modern look, Liberty goes back to its English roots and Tudor style. The Grade II listed building was built from the timbers of two great British Navy ships: the HMS Impregnable and the HMS Hindustan. The exterior of the store is particular impressive although it is easy to miss given all the distractions in the area, but inside, you get a real feel for the Tudor style and even if you don’t intend to shop it is worth browsing through its spacious atriums.

In terms of size, the store is much much smaller than Harrods, Selfridges, or Harvey Nichols, and it specializes in selling items to the discerning customer, stocking many less branded items and many more handmade or rare objects. The store is well known for its range of fabrics and haberdashery section (it spans 1-2 floors, if I remember correctly), and is a perfect place to find a gift for someone who has it all.

Anyways, back to the news articles… it seems that Liberty is thinking of expanding overseas. It already has an operation in Japan, selling Liberty branded products to department stores over there, but it is thinking of opening its own Liberty department stores in selected cities worldwide. They haven’t given any details, but chances are the first stores (if they were to expand) would probably be in the fashion centers of the world, namely New York, Paris, Tokyo, and possibly in Shanghai and Beijing given the increasing luxury spending power of Chinese urbanites.

Address: Liberty Store, Regent Street/Great Marlborough Street, London W1B 5AH
Enquiries Telephone Number: 020 7734 1234
Shop at the Liberty Department Store online: http://www.liberty.co.uk