Jewellery retailer Argento has embarked on a major £2.2 million investment programme that will bring its store count across the UK and Ireland to 60 and staff numbers to more than 500 in 2016.
The Belfast-based company, which in 2014 invested more than £1 million opening seven new stores in Northern Ireland and Scotland, has this year added six stores to its retail portfolio in Holywood, Strabane, Newtownabbey, Glasgow, Newbury and Leicester.
In 2016, the fast-growing company plans to open further in Scotland, England and the Isle of Man.
It said the new store openings will bring the total number of outlets under its ownership to 60 and will add at least 125 new jobs to its existing 475-strong permanent workforce across the UK and Ireland by the end of 2016. At key times, additional temporary staff can swell this number close to 800.
Pete Boyle, chief executive of Argento, explains:“We’re an ambitious company and we’re keen to match the growing demand for the quality products we offer and the service we provide – not just online but right across all of our expanding retail network.
“Our latest investment programme prioritises the development of new stores in areas with good growth potential and it also outlines a clear pathway for more targeted enhancements and improvements in several existing, successful stores. We look forward to bringing further jobs and investment across all our locations.”
As part of its ambitious investment strategy, the company will continue to roll out its new store design. This year, five key Argento stores, including those in Edinburgh, Newry, Omagh, Newtownabbey and Bangor, incorporated traditional red ‘Belfast brick’ feature walls, contemporary wooden floors and striking yellow display cabinets.
Boyle adds: “Online sales remain hugely important and we are delighted that our focus in this area is well-balanced by our strong presence on the High Street. Next year is a big year for Argento as we look to bring our total store count to 60 and we remain confident for the future.”