Glittering bait for the well-heeled shopper: Harrods department store has added gold bars to its merchandise line.

The store announced Thursday that it has joined with Swiss refiner Produits Artistiques Metaux Precieux to offer gold bars weighing 27.5 pounds.

Based on Thursday's afternoon gold fixing price in London, a gold bar would cost about $423,385. Customers can buy the gold through Harrods financial arm Harrods Bank, which is located in the central London's department store.

"The financial environment has kindled a new demand for physical gold amongst private investors in Britain," said Chris Hall, head of Harrods Gold Bullion.

"Up until now, however, London has had no well-recognized name serving this market," he added.

Many investors believe it is currently safer to invest in gold than in stocks, property, or currencies.

Mehdi Bakhordar, managing director of Produits Artistiques Metaux Precieux, said Harrods was the only location in London where investors could buy a 27.5 pound (12.5 kg) gold bar "off the shelf."