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Has Harvey Nichols damaged its brand or are its ads enlivening a bland sector, John Tylee wonders.
Is Harvey Nichols really as desperate as the models in its latest campaign, who appear to be suffering bladder malfunctions at the prospect of the Knightsbridge store's summer sale?
There is certainly no reason for its senior managers to be rushing to the loo, the company having delivered record profits in the year to March 2012. And it is much the same story at its big rival, Selfridges, which last year reported a 19 per cent surge in profits to pounds 127 million.
So much for the theory that the entire retail fashion sector is down the toilet. While high-street retailers are under the cosh, upmarket stores such as Harvey Nichols are finding a healthy demand for pounds 65,000 alligator handbags from free-spending foreign shoppers attracted by the cheap pound.
So why should Harvey Nichols have apparently gone out of its way to alienate …