Carat* invests £250k in retail presence overhaul

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New central London locations and Harrods shop-in-shop in the pipeline.

Luxury fashion jewellery brand Carat*is in the process of renovating its network of standalone stores in the UK and introducing a new shop-in-shop to Harrods, according to chief executive officer Scott Thompson.

Speaking exclusively to Professional Jeweller, Thompson explained that the brand’s Covent Garden and Canary Wharf stores are being overhauled. He also suggested that a maximum of two more Central London locations are also being scouted.

He commented: “The touchstone for the brand and the brand’s presence is created by these experiential shops. In Harrods, for example, we are building a new shop-in-shop downstairs. Right now, we do very well in Harrods in their existing format, but they’ve asked us to build our own shop within the store based on how we want it to look.”

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Thompson describes the current store overhaul as “long overdue”, explaining the brand has been focused on its stores in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

Carat* will present its “beautiful new concept” to its London stores, with Thompson noting that no two stores will be the same.

He explains: “For the past 10 years, I have always said that cookie-cutter shops are dead. If you go to a shop in Hong Kong or London or Shanghai, they should all be a little bit different, perhaps using slightly different floors or wall features. The DNA is there, but the cookie-cutter mould isn’t. We don’t use bog standard furniture, which we glue together like Lego. We look at each location for its own unique attributes.”

The company has also spent around £250,000 in the past two years on new shop-in-shops for its wholesale accounts, including one in Arnotts department store, Dublin, and Selfridges in Manchester.

An in-depth interview with Scott Thompson will be available to read in the June 2015 issue of Professional Jeweller. 

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