Staff arrived at Harvey Nichols, on Briggate in the city centre, yesterday morning (August 27) to find the glass entrance doors to the designer department store shattered and the lobby littered with debris.
West Yorkshire Police said a silver Ford Mondeo had been driven into the doors at about 4.15am.
A spokesman said: “A male then entered and stole a quantity of perfume and aftershave before driving away in the car.”
Despite the incident, staff acted quickly to clear the mess. Cleaners could be seen sweeping up the glass and employees were busy rebuilding the displays immediately within the store. By 9.30am there was little sign that a break-in had taken place and the shop opened as normal to the public.
A spokeswoman said yesterday: “Harvey Nichols can confirm there was an incident at its Leeds store and that they are working with the relevant authorities.
“The store traded as usual today.”
The incident was met with shock on social media – although many people seemed most surprised that the thief had only stolen cosmetics.
Lisa Thompson wrote on Facebook: “Get the bags and expensive stuff if you’re going to do anything. What was the point in that?”
Harvey Nichols launched its Leeds outlet in 1996 and has a reputation as one of the most exclusive in the city, stocking designer clothing and accessories as well as cosmetics and food.
Yesterday’s raid came two months after police recovered £60,000 of designer goods from the home of a suspected thief after he was arrested at the Briggate store.
Last month the chain launched a video marketing campaign showing genuine CCTV footage of shoplifting incidents at its stores.
The controversial ploy was designed to promote a mobile phone app offering loyal customers legal ‘freebies’.
Anyone with information about yesterday’s incident should call Leeds CID on 101.