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David Perry

Harrods bedding RSAs deliver top-notch service

Retail Bedding Playbook

Matthew Shields stands near a Jensen bedding display at Harrods.Matthew Shields stands near a Jensen bedding display at Harrods.
LONDON - You would expect one of the world's greatest stores to offer beautiful displays of luxurious mattresses among the more than 300 departments in which it showcases the retail treasures of the world.
And Harrods, the venerable, famous Cathedral of Retail here, with more than one million square feet under its fancy roof, delivers on that demanding front.
You would also expect that store to offer tremendous service to its mattress customers with a staff of top-notch salespeople. Yes, Harrods delivers there as well.
Matthew Shields, who heads Harrods' furniture operation, located on the third floor of the sprawling palace-like building on Brompton Road, raves about the mattress salespeople, whom he describes as "great."
"They understand the benefits of the products," he said. "They are not just order takers. They are all brand ambassadors."
The salespeople have visited the factories where the beds sold at Harrods are made and are thoroughly familiar with all of the key product details, Shields said. And that gives them an important advantage on the sales floor: "They are confident in the products," he said.
Shields said the "engagement of our sales team" is a key characteristic of the mattress department.
Given the prestige of working at Harrods, the retailer has some veteran mattress salespeople. "We have people who have been in the business for 30 years," Shields said. "You cannot get that experience off the shelf."
Harrods carries four mattress lines: Vi-Spring, Savoir Beds, Jensen and Tempur, the European version of the line known as Tempur-Pedic in the U.S. market.
The retailer revamped its bedding department a few years ago to give it a more comfortable feel, a setting in which those experienced retail sales associates can shine.

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