Need Some Gold? Head Over to Harrods Department Store

By Sadie Bass

Oct 16, 2009 1:12pm

ABC's Kelly Belknap reports from London: The London department store Harrods is expecting a gold rush this season and is stocking its shelves accordingly. Harrods began selling pure gold bars and coins at its main Harrods store yesterday in an attempt to tap into the physical gold market. The move comes as gold prices have been going through the roof. Gold topped $1,072 an ounce, a record high, on Wednesday and based on Thursday's afternoon gold fixing price in New York one of Harrods’ precious gold bars would cost about $462,440. Chris Hall, Head of Harrods Gold Bullion told ABC News, “when we looked at this business we considered the market and there’s been a resurgence in the gold market this year in line even with the recession and from the research that we did we were able to see that there is a significant demand and that gave us the confidence to initiate this.” The store is displaying the gold collection in a miniature vault on the ground floor. Fine gold bars ranging in size from 1gram to 27.5 pounds (12.5kg) will be sold along with seven gold coins featuring the American Gold Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf and the British Sovereign among others. In order to achieve its goal to provide a golden opportunity for its clientele, Harrods partnered with the world’s leading independent refiner Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux (PAMP). PAMP shares Harrods’ enthusiasm for the venture.  ”We wanted to grow the PAMP brand in the UK and when Harrods approached us to consider a relationship we knew we had found the ideal retail partner. Although our products are available in the London wholesale and secondary markets, we have chosen Harrods Bank as our exclusive retail partner for the UK. They stock our full range and are now the only location in London where investors can purchase a 12.5kg gold bar ‘off the shelf,” PAMP’s MD Mehdi Bakhordar said in a press release given to ABC News. Harrods is the only London store to sell physical gold ‘over-the-counter’. Hall explains to ABC News, “the idea is that you can come in and depending on the size of the purchase… and if you meet certain legal requirements  you are able to literally purchase gold and walk away with it… or not.” Harrods believe this niche will address the growing demand for gold. On the opening day of Harrods’ gold collection, Hall told ABC News “it’s still early days for us, but the indications are that there is very good demand and certainly gold customers who’ve come to us already have been very pleased with the offering that we have for them.”

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