In 1831, Benjamin Harvey opened a linen shop in a terraced house on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street in London.
In 1835, the shop expanded to No.8 next door, and would continue to expand into successive properties over the following years. In 1841, Benjamin employed James Nichols from Oxfordshire. In 1845, Nichols was promoted to management and in 1848, he married Harvey’s niece, Anne Beale. Meanwhile, in 1847, Harvey's son and heir Benjamin Charles was born.
Benjamin Harvey died in 1850, leaving the business in the care of his wife Anne, who went into partnership with James Nichols to form Harvey Nichols & Co.