back to article Harrods web Grotto snowed under

Famed toff tat outlet Harrods has been forced to put Christmas on hold after its website buckled under the weight of families rushing for some lap time with Santa. Despite the global recession, the Knightsbridge store said it had experienced "unprecedented demand" for access to the Grotto. "We have temporarily removed the …


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  1. Scott 19
    Thumb Down

    4th of August

    Your kidding right?

    saying that they started selling advent calendars in our local high street convenience store last month.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A title shouldn't be required, and might contain letters and/or digits.

    The 4th of frigging August? They opened Santas grotto on the 4th of August? What happened to the days of Christmas happening in December...

  3. Shane McCarrick

    Geographically confused

    So- the naughty Santa got sent home- not the geographically confused penguins?

  4. Elmer Phud


    August the fucking fourth?

    OFFS! why not just have a 364* day 24/7 Santies Grotty and leave it at that.

    It'd be a kids version of Lourdes - turn up with your wishes and get fleeced.

    *Christmas day off, of course.

  5. SynnerCal

    Missed opportunity for some gouging

    Only £5 admin charge per booking, sheesh what a bunch of amateurs - why don't they take some tips from Ticketmaster and ChavAir, sorry "Ryan Air" ;)

    As in:

    o Credit card booking surcharge per ticket (Ticketmaster);

    o Administration fee - again per ticket (Ticketmaster);

    o Postal-delivered tickets only, and charge a postage charge per ticket (do I really need to say who does this?)

    o Charge extra for viewing the penguins (C.A.)

    o Allow people to queue, but make sure sales staff are on hand to sell sh-, sorry "goods", to them (C.A.);

    o Offer - for a fee - the ability to select a particular time slot;

    o Offer the chance to get - for a fee - a special momento of your visit (a la most theme parks);

    o Insist on the supply of an email address - and use that to send "specially selected offers that may be of interest to you";

    And so on.

    Re: 4th of August - nope that's pretty normal, my local Tesco's and Debenham's started setting up their Christmas pressie display over a month ago, and no-one seemed to think it weird.

    Bah humbug!

  6. northern monkey
    Thumb Up

    The 2006 Santa's...

    ...behaviour seems completely in keeping with what I think Santa would be: popping into all those chimneys to surprise little kids; drinking sherry like there's no tomorrow; being to lazy to have a decent shave; always having to wear a coat because he'd rather spend the money on booze; and keeping little elves locked up to do his work for him. Santa really isn't a nice person.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calm down...

    ... and read the article properly.

    They did *not* open Santa's Grotto on August 4. They opened *bookings* for Santa's Grotto then.

    This does not seem unreasonable, as it means that people planning to visit London for the Christmas holiday can make plans in advance.

    Paris, because if anyone is going to sit on my lap, it ain't going to be a snotty kid.

  8. Jacqui Smith's DVD Collection!

    re: clam down, I read the article properly

    ...and it says...

    The Knightsbridge store this year introduced a new booking system, to allow families to book an appointment with its current Saints Nick* to cut waiting times. The Grotto - which includes some geographically confused live penguins - opened on 4 August.

    Now see that full stop? Right before "The Grotto"...

    Clarification please! :D

  9. NoOnions

    Rant ye not!

    If you read the terms and conditions on the Grotto page you will see the following useful information:

    "Harrods Christmas Grotto runs from the 7th November to 24th December 2009 inclusive."

    You can all relax now!

  10. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    re: clam down, I read the article properly

    My fault, the Harrods Christmas dept was launched on August 4, but Grotto opens in in November. Will correct.


  11. Anonymous Coward

    Saints Nick?

    The shop may be run by a foriegner, but at least to attempt to blend in you'd think he would have employed Father Christmases.

  12. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Mmmm Christmassy

    After all, nothing smells more like Christmas than fermenting penguin guano.

  13. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    What about the charge TicketB***ard levy on on those self print PDF tickets they issue! So I do all the work, use my system, use my printer and my ink to print the sodding ticket and you scum still have the nerve to charge me £2 for the privilege?!?!

    No, I would happily go elsewhere, but you lot have the market sown up and the only place I can get tickets for the gigs in London I want is from you dirtbags!

  14. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    How long do they spend?

    Am I missing something? Reseverations? How long do the kids spend with Santa? When I was a kid, the line at our local mall was maybe 5 minutes. You'd sit on his lap, "Have you been a good boy or girl? " ...... "Good, what would you like?" (I don't know what he said if a kid said they were naughty). .... "Very good then. Ho ho ho!" *next*. Then the parent could buy a photo of the kid on santa's lap if they wanted.

  15. NoOnions


    ..."the Harrods Christmas dept was launched on August 4" is still far too early! Won't be long before you will see Easter bunnies and eggs available!

  16. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hey, here in the US

    They've put out Halloween merchandise and decorating, as well as Christmas. Very schizophrenic and bizarre looking. Christmas decorations up at the beginning of September.

    I think that's the smell of desperation in the air, not mistletoe.

    Icon for the "lap time with Santa" that *I* want for Christmas!

  17. Warhelmet

    Teh Real Father Christmas

    A proper shop santa should smell of booze and piss and frighten the kiddies.

  18. Steve Welsh

    The very first Christmas

    It was the very first Christmas and Santa Claus was beavering away in his grotto at the north pole making all the toys and goodies for the children all over the world. The King of the fairies heard about this and went over to Santa's grotto. "Please, Santa - if there is anything me and my fairies can do to help, this being the first Christmas and all, just say the word". Santa paused for a moment and thought. "Ah, yes!" he exclaimed. "Out the back is a HUGE shed filled to the top with little trees. What I want you and your fairies to do is to deliver one of those little trees to every house in the world. From now on they will always be known as Christmas trees". The King of the fairies rose to the challenge with "It will be done, Santa!" And off he went. Santa continued at a ever more feverish pace to complete his task of providing toys and goodies for the children all over the world. With minutes to spare before they were laden on his sleigh the King of the fairies turned up. "Please, Santa, me and my fairies have done exactly what you wanted and delivered these little trees to every house in the world." "But please, Santa there is just this one left over. What do you want me to do with it?" So Santa told him exactly what to do with it, and that is why to this day there is always a fairy on the top of the Christmas tree.

  19. Winkypop Silver badge

    Oh, I see, THAT kind of free....

    "tickets are free of charge with an administration fee of £5 per booking"

    £5 !!!

    Who administers the bookings, Donald Trumph?

  20. Thomas Letherby

    @The Fuzzy Wotnot

    If you're in London try Stargreen instead, you can even wonder in if you're passing Oxford Circus. :)

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