Harvey Nichols sets up shop in ... Azerbaijan

Jessica Morris
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Harvey Nichols is opening a store in Azerbaijan (Source: Getty)

Luxury store Harvey Nichols has opened a department store in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Satellite state which is set to host the "European Olympics" but also suffers from a questionable human rights record.

The 110,000 square foot outlet, spread over seven-floors, is located in capital city Baku's Globus Plaza. Two floors focus on fashion and beauty, while the further four floors are dedicated to hospitality.

"We are delighted to be opening a store in Azerbaijan, our first in the region," Stacey Cartwright, group chief executive of Harvey Nichols, said.

"The market is fast becoming one of the top luxury retail destinations in the world and we are excited to offer the ultimate in luxury shopping and hospitality to the discerning customer in Baku."

However, the country was recently singled out by human rights organisation Amnesty International, which said there were at least 22 prisoners of conscience who are currently awaiting trial there.

The economist ranked Azerbaijan's economy as the world's second-fastest growing between 2000 to 2010. While Euromonitor also said the number of affluent people more than quadrupled over the last five years .

And Baku is already boasts a number of luxury retailers and hotels such as Four Seasons and the Hilton.

"Baku has become very fashion forward in the past years and the opening of Harvey Nichols Baku will help to snap the most stylish brands straight from the catwalks," Akshin Abdilov, director of performance, said.

"Along with the inimitable collections we will be offering our customers personalised VIP services like personal shopping and style advising services which will be peerless in terms of unique shopping experience."

The upmarket London department has already expanded its presence to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

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