Parents raging as Harrods Santa's Grotto is closed off unless they spend £2,000

12 November 2019, 16:11 | Updated: 12 November 2019, 16:16

Some children will miss out on seeing Santa at Harrods
Some children will miss out on seeing Santa at Harrods. Picture: PA
Mared Parry

By Mared Parry

Bad news for a lot of kids who were looking forward to seeing the big man!

Harrods have put in a rather harsh new condition for those who want to visit Santa's grotto this year, and it's not cheap!

The luxury department store is known for its high prices, but the new minimum spend in order to be able to enter the grotto, with an additional £20 on top for the entry itself has blown people away.

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The department store has been accused of losing "the true meaning of Christmas"
The department store has been accused of losing "the true meaning of Christmas". Picture: PA

When the Christmas grotto firs opened in 1955, it was free for everyone, but now Harrods has introduced the extortionate minimum spend of £2,000 in order to get a spot with Santa.

A regular visitor of the famous department store, based in London's upmarket Knightsbridge accused them of "behaving like the Grinch who stole Christmas" as it's only the families who can afford the ridiculously high minimum spend who will get the chance to experience the grotto.

A wave of angry customers have aired their dissatisfaction about being shut out of the Swarovski-encrusted grotto, and this prompted Harrods to allow 160 families the chance to visit for free - how kind.

This will work through 10 named being chosen at random every day, and is done through a "wishing well".

A man named James Brown spoke to The Guardian that "they have lost the true meaning of Christmas and given into the commercialisation of the season.

"Visiting Father Christmas shouldn’t be reserved for those that are fortunate enough to frequent the store and spend thousands of pounds."

The father-of-four continued: "A visit to Father Christmas at a magical shop like Harrods should be for all.

"I think the owners need to have a long hard look at the longer-term impact on their business for the thousands of children who won’t grow up with a fond feeling for the store."

Harrods has come under fire for the new introduction
Harrods has come under fire for the new introduction. Picture: PA

A spokeswoman for Harrods told The Guardian that the reason for the £2,000 minimum spend is due to high demand and a lack of slots.

"Each year, we are overwhelmed by requests for this special experience, which we make every effort to facilitate,’ she said.

"We care hugely about making a visit to the Grotto as magical as possible, and tickets are extremely limited due to the number of slots we can facilitate in-store.

"Unfortunately, we simply cannot meet the demand for places."

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