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Timeline: Michael Ward at Harrods

After 11 years at the helm, Harrods managing director Michael Ward has announced his intention to leave the luxury department store in the summer. Drapers follows Ward’s Harrods years from 2005 to 2016. 



Michael Ward is appointed managing director of Harrods following previous roles as managing director of Lloyds Chemists and partner at private equity firm Apax

March 2007

Harrods has unveiled plans for its new concept store at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5

May 2007 

Harrods decides to refit its babywear area in time for spring 2008, after the department’s sales soar by 35% during the first five months of 2007

April 2008

Harrods appoints former Gucci vice-president as James McArthur as chief executive

January 2009 

Harrods chief executive James McArthur leaves the luxury department store business less than a year after taking on the role

January 2010

Harrods is among the retailers to celebrate a cracking Christmas as recession-weary shoppers come out in force

April 2010 

Michael Ward warns retailers that it is essential to invest in store environments during the downturn to give shoppers a reason to trade up

May 2010

Mohamed Al Fayed sells his Harrods empire for £1.5bn to the Qatari Royal Family, exiting the fashion industry for good

July 2010 

Harrods is understood to be in talks with the Shanghai Municipal Government about opening its first store outside the UK

January 2011 

Harrods breaks the £1bn sales barrier after a sparkling Christmas

February 2011

Harrods welcomes Chinese debit and credit card UnionPay, signalling the growing importance of Chinese spending power in the luxury retail sector

October 2011

Harrods profits soar 39% to £108.3m in its year to January 29

October 2012

Harrods opens new distribution centre as part of a growth strategy 

November 2012

Speaking at the Drapers Fashion Summit, Michael Ward describes China as a “truly enormous opportunity” for fashion retailers

September 2013

Harrods chief merchant Marigay McKee resigns to join Saks Fifth Avenue as president

October 2013

Michael Ward praises plans to simplify the UK visa application process for Chinese visitors, but insists more needs to be done across other key markets where stringent restrictions apply such as Russia

November 2013

Following the departure of Marigay McKee, the chief merchant role is split into two. Helen David is appointed fashion director of womenswear, accessories, fine jewellery and kidswear, while Jason Broderick will hold the same role for menswear, sports and watches

December 2013

Harrods store image director Mark Briggs follows in the footsteps of chief merchant Marigay McKee with a move to Saks Fifth Avenue

August 2014

Harrods opens Shoe Heaven, its new 42,000 sq ft footwear department

July 2015

Michael Wards joins a host of fashion retail heavyweights supporting government proposals to extend Sunday trading hours

July 2015

Harrods is amongst a number of retailers including Arcadia, Marks & Spencer and Selfridges, who pledged to create 2,000 jobs in London if Sunday trading hours are extended

September 2015

Michael Ward hits out at government policies he claims are deterring wealthy visitors visiting the UK

November 2015

Ward dismisses the impact of China Singles’ Day

March 2016

Harrods managing director Michael Ward is reportedly to step down in the summer

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