Hot 100 2013: Mike Rice

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On increasing turnover and introducing iPads to increase efficiency.

 By Steve Spear

Only one name has made it onto both the WatchPro and Professional Jeweller Hot 100 lists this year. That name is Mike Rice.

“I must admit, it’s quite an honour,” he says. And he deserves to scoop the double after all he has done this year overseeing so many changes in his business, turning it into something of a retail powerhouse. He says the highlight has been the completed expansion of the St Stephen’s store in Hull. At the same time he has relocated the Beverley store expertly, so much so that he says, a touch surprised, it “keeps winning design awards”.

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The impact has been “significant increases in turnover at both Beverley and Hull and improving margins at both – hopefully a sign of calmer waters ahead”. And Pandora too has firmed, which will be good news for his two franchises in Meadowhall, two in Leeds, one in Harrogate and one in Hull.

And in a world that is obsessed with glamour and aesthetics, any good retailer knows the secrets of success lie just as much in efficient systems. Cue Mike’s introduction of iPads and a new EPoS system. “They are a necessary evil, especially to an old Luddite like me. The better your systems, the more information is at your disposal for analysis. It’s worth remembering that good data retrieval helps you to identify your best target market – your existing clients.” And he is now on target to increase sales for the group by 20% in 2013/14.

But what is the source of all his power? “The Glenlivet! Only joking. Anyone who knows us in the industry can see us as a group of individuals. We enjoy working with each other and still have a good laugh. Long may it continue.”

This Hot 100 IJL Retail Stars profile was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 book. To read the book in full online, click here.

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