Christmas at Harrods is serious business.Over 12,000 lights adorn the store over the festive period - 300 of which blow everyday and have to be replaced.But it???s not just lighting that needs constant attention at the iconic store - 100,000 shoppers pass through their doors every day in December.And the peak of frenzy comes on Boxing Day.
Over the years, the Harrods legendary Boxing Day sale has featured live reindeers, a garden party and a live performance by Florence Welch.This year the full cast of Elf the Musical are performing.But what???s it like to man the door on the busiest shopping day of the year?the best high street bargains to snap up in the sales
???Cold,??? laughs Danny Suarez, 57, who has worked at Harrods for over 15 years.???But memorable.Where else would you see actual reindeers walking through the door????For the past eight years Danny has served as one of the luxury department store???s seven Green Men, who man the doors of the iconic boutique - and, crucially, are in charge of keeping shoppers calm during the sales.People start queuing from Christmas Eve
When Danny gets to work at 8am to make sure the store is ready for the 10am opening on Boxing Day, he???ll be greeted by some hardcore Harrods fans.???Some will have queued for two to three days before,??? he says.???They leave their sleeping bags to grab some food, but yes, keenest shoppers are sitting there throughout Christmas Day.The rest start turning up at 2am on Boxing Day morning.???The best designer bargains to snap up in the Christmas salesSale shoppers are very strategic
Many of the Harrods sales shoppers are those who have faithfully returned year in year out, so have perfected their skills.???You???ll see people pick a specific door as they know the department they want and the quickest route to get there,??? reveals Danny.Want some of those tips????Door 5 is where the magic happens - the countdown or the parade..Door 7 is for handbags.???
Danny Suarez escorts singer Florence Welch ahead of the Harrods sale in 2011But no-one???s getting in early
???There"s banter from customers, saying ???Can you let me in????.But no-one gets too pushy,???Danny says.And no one gets past him until those doors officially open.It???s not unusual to get ???Christmas presents??? from customers, though
???So far this year I"ve had two bottles of champagne and an artist couple based in Covent Garden did me a painting of a Green Man,???Danny says.???I get a lot of cards too, and chocolates - people must think we need feeding up.???But don???t be mistaken into thinking these gifts get you early access to the sales.Even for his favourite customers???Loyal shoppers refer to Harrods as their corner store
???A lot of the shoppers we see we are on first-name terms with,??? says Danny.???Although, personally, I don???t use their first name.Especially if it???s a lady ???I call them ???young lady???.???Well, this is Harrods we???re talking about.
Sale customers get given Harrods blankets to keep out the coldTourists like taking selfies
OK, not exactly news there.But one of the things that most entertains shoppers in the sale queue is taking snaps of the Green Men and their famous uniform.???What"s the thing with young people having the camera at an angle????Danny laughs.???I probably get asked about 20-30 times a day.It???s got that knock-on effect???Once someone stops to ask, someone else behind them does the same and that???s how it goes.Sometimes my cheeks ache so much because I haven???t stopped laughing.???Keeping warm is as important as keeping calm
???If the temperature gets cold I put another vest on and accept a hug,???Danny says.But the thing that really keeps him warm on sale day????I might have a full English breakfast up in the staff food hall beforehand.???And no, the staff don???t get a sales preview???.
But working there is handy for Christmas presents.In fact, Danny???s friends and family practically expect he???ll get them something from the store.???That???s fair enough.It???s the thought of not just the gift itself, but that it???s coming in that Harrods green bag.I buy a lot of teddy bears - everyone loves a Harrods teddy bear.And now they do a Green Man one, too.???But sadly those aren???t in the sale???Insider tips to shop the sales like a pro | By Krissy Turner