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Harrods Tops Christmas List With New England Product in July

July 17, 1992

BOSTON (AP) _ Harrods, the British retail-chain, said Friday it will top its Christmas list with more than $3 million worth of New England products as it prepares for the 1992 holiday shopping season.

The joint marketing project between Harrods and the Massachusetts Port Authority will feature products from 100 companies in six New England states, including 30 companies from the Bay State.

″I can’t think of a better Christmas present for the people of New England,″ said Alden Raine, executive director of the Port.

Massport officials said smaller companies are likely to benefit most from the ″test market″ if additional orders are placed after the six-week promotion has been completed.

London consumers will be able purchase everything from ″tasty but tasteless gifts″ like baked bean bubble gum to Shaker furniture and Vermont maple syrup, according to Michael Cole, a spokesman for Harrods.

″This means prestige to us, even though we already sell to some of the finest stores. We think it’s going to boost the sale of our product,″ said Mark Spiro, a designer with Kenwood Manufacturing Co., a Boston-based maker of leather bags.

Harrods has ordered 18 sample bags which will be sold at a mock New England street, set up inside the London shop.

″This could mean quite a bit of business for us if they continue to buy from us,″ said Spiro.

For new companies like Atwood and Cooke Ltd, Boston-based makers of peanut butter goods, the invitation to appear in a Harrods food catalogue is ″a real good thing, it gives us legitimacy as a young company,″ said co-owner Steve Barnes.

Harrods will spend approximately $1.5 million in advertising and promotions to make sure that New England is a hit with the British, said Michael Macrae, the store’s promotion director.

″A New England Christmas evokes a wonderful image of Christmas full of family traditions; it’s a Christmas all of us imagine in our childhood,″ he said.

Sales begin Nov. 14 when Harrods mails out catalogs featuring the slogan ″New England Christmas″ to its account customers.

Massport officials said the project was launched last year when Harrods officials contacted Massport through the American Embassy in London.

″We had worked with them before at the big food show in Germany and they contacted us and expressed an interest in this project,″ said Massport spokesman Issac Graves.

Cole said part of the appeal of American products will be that ″America is no longer an expensive country for us to buy in.″

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