Harrods is to go head to head with Selfridges by launching a month-long event, as the jewel in Galen Weston's retail crown mounts its Brasil 40 deg festival.
Mohamed Al Fayed's store will kick off Fantasy Gardens on Wednesday, with the unveiling of specially commissioned window displays designed and created by celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin, a week before Selfridges' Latin event begins.
Fantasy Gardens runs until June 5, and the schedule includes a display of deckchairs created by 35 designers and a garden tea party with milliner Phillip Treacy. Harrods will also send a grass-covered double decker bus around central London to publicise the event.
Selfridges' Brasil 40 deg runs from May 5 to May 31. The retailer will hold a Brazilian film festival in its car park in collaboration with City of God director Fernando Mireilles.
A Harrods spokesman said it did not deliberately stage Fantasy Gardens at the same time as Selfridges' extravaganza.