Scrooges at Harrods Limit Santa Visits to Big Spenders

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Fancy London department store Harrods announced that this year it would limit its Swarovski-sponsored “Christmas grotto,” where kids meet Santa, to customers who spent £2,000 between January and late August of 2019. A early but strong contender for Scrooge of the year!


CNBC reported:

Running from November 15 until Christmas Eve, Harrods’ “Secret Forest Grotto” is described as a “snow-covered woodland filled with sparkling surprises,” with visitors being promised an exclusive gift from Santa Claus.

But according to Harrods’ website, only those who have achieved Green 2 Tier or above in the store’s loyalty program are “eligible for an invitation to (the) grotto.”

Members of the scheme needed to have unlocked that status by August 26 this year to be invited to the grotto — meaning they would have had to have spent more than £2,000 ($2,566) in Harrods between January 1 and the cut-off date.

A spokesperson told CBNC that, look, their Christmas grotto—this is apparently a common term in the UK—is very popular and they just can’t include everybody, okay? “Each year, we are overwhelmed by requests for this special experience, which we make every effort to facilitate,” said Harrods via email. “We care hugely about making a visit to the Grotto as magical as possible, therefore tickets are extremely limited. Unfortunately, we simply cannot meet the demand for places.”

Now, they did allow a few steerage passengers into their precious crystalline grotto. They had a “wishing well” in the children’s section for a couple weeks, where kids could enter a competition for one of 160 tickets doled out to those whose parents weren’t substantial spenders. The Guardian crunched the numbers: “The 160 will be slotted in among a total of 4,400 10-minute appointments with Santa starting on Friday 15 November. This means that wealthy families will get 96.4% of Father Christmas’s time.”

God bless us, every one!

Senior Editor at Jezebel, specializing in books, royals, romance novels, houses, history, and the stories we tell about domesticity and femininity. Resident Windsor expert.



Every year, Dayton’s in Minneapolis (local now-closed department store) had a Christmas-themed display on its 8th floor in Minneapolis and us plebes were more than welcome to attend for free. We could buy a holiday cookie at the end and we were welcome to sit on Santa’s lap.

This is a damned shame.