Letter: All's well for the real customers at Harrods

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a frequent user of Harrods, I was surprised by James Fox's intemperate attack on one of its owners, Mohamed Al Fayed, informed more by prejudice than fact ('Dear Mohamed Al Fayed', 27 April).

I know nothing about Harrods' practice in responding to requests for change for parking meters at cash points in the store, but having lived in Knightsbridge for many years, I do know of the horrendous parking problems there and I rather suspect that without this policy, the real customers at Harrods would be seriously inconvenienced.

And this is precisely the point that Mr Fox misses entirely in his points of criticisms of Mr Al Fayed. Any restrictions imposed are intended to help actual customers who buy things as opposed to those who come to the store simply to stand and stare.

Personally, I am very pleased that photography has been forbidden. Nothing is more annoying for a customer who wants to buy something than to be impeded by tourists laden down with photographic equipment.

Thanks to Mr Al Fayed, this no longer takes place and thanks also to his dedication to Harrods, it has become a major national institution.

Yours faithfully,

ST JOHN of FAWSLEY

House of Lords

London, SW1

3 May

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