Harrods’ Father Christmas only rewards big spenders
IT is a magical Christmas tradition adored by children, but this year Harrods has decided they will only be allowed to sit on Father Christmas’s knee if their parents have spent enough in the store.
For the first time, the Knightsbridge department store has said its annual Christmas grotto is by “invitation only”, making it accessible only to regular Harrods Rewards customers who are deemed to have splashed enough cash over the past 12 months.
The Daily Telegraph has been contacted by Harrods shoppers with children who say they are so angry at being denied access to Father Christmas that they are prepared to boycott the store.
One mother, who claimed she had spent around £12,000 at Harrods over the past year, said she “was made to feel like c---” after staff told her she was not a big enough customer to take her children to the grotto.
She claimed that she was told by a member of staff that even people who had spent £15,000 in a year would not gain access.
Harrods declined to reveal what customers would need to spend in order to be invited to the grotto, claiming a “range of factors”, including frequency of visits, was taken into account.
Another mother who was denied entry said the policy had put an end to a family tradition of 20 years. The woman was a Harrods Rewards customer who spent around £250 over the past year and was told this was not enough to qualify.
Parents who were denied access felt salt was rubbed into the wound by the fact that Rewards customers who qualified for the sought-after tickets will be allowed to take up to eight guests to meet Father Christmas. However, they
‘We are overwhelmed with requests … we simply cannot meet the demand’
will be charged £20 per child on entry, which includes a visit to the grotto as well as an “exclusive gift”.
A Harrods spokesman said: “The Harrods Christmas grotto experience is, this year, available by invitation only.
“We care hugely about making a visit to the grotto as magical as possible, therefore tickets are extremely limited. Each year, we are overwhelmed by requests for the Harrods grotto experience, which we make every effort to facilitate. Unfortunately, we simply cannot meet the demand.”