In 1813, Benjamin Harvey opened a linen shop in a terraced house on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street in London. The business passed on to Harvey's daughter in 1820 on the understanding that she go into partnership with Colonel Nichols, selling Oriental carpets, silks, and luxury goods alongside the linens.
The existing Knightsbridge store, which was built by Higgs and Hill, was opened in 1880, with the rear section added in 1932.
In 1919, Harvey Nichols was bought by Debenhams and in 1985 became part of the Burton Group. In 1991, the store was acquired by Dickson Concepts an international retailer and distributor of branded luxury goods based in Hong Kong and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In April 1996, Harvey Nichols obtained a full listing on the London Stock Exchange and for next seven years, remained a listed company. 1996 also marks the year when Harvey Nichols opened their first store outside of London.
February 2003, however, saw the controversial return of Harvey Nichols to private ownership. The store is now owned by the Hong Kong-based businessman Dr. Dickson Poon, whose retail businesses extend to North America, Europe, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.
By Paul Green
There are numerous small differences in the fonts and letter spacing in Harvey, Nichols and Co. overprints.