Hot 100 2014: William Craghill, Michael Jones

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Managing director of Michael Jones Jeweller talks customer service.

It’s been a year of transformation for William Craghill’s business Michael Jones Jewellers, which holds the top spot on Northampton’s aptly-named Gold Street.

This celebrated shop has held its position since 1919, becoming the town’s preferred jeweller for luxury watches, diamonds and interesting designer brands. Reviewing the past year’s achievements, William says: “We’ve had a shop refit that has completely changed the look of the shop; it feels much more modern, much brighter. I’m very pleased with it and so are our customers.”

The customers in question head to Michael Jones – which operates a second Northampton store and a shop in Banbury – to seek those special pieces from brands including Rolex, Cartier, TAG Heuer, Ungar & Ungar, Rachel Galley and Fope.

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“We offer an excellent range of product and stock pieces that are not readily available elsewhere in Northampton; they’re different and a bit more unusual,” William says.

The company has a wide and loyal customer base, and William is proud of the reputation it has built locally. “We don’t look to others but focus on what we’re good at; it’s all about personal service, looking after the customer and doing what you can to make their shopping experience memorable.”

Away from work, William and his wife keep donkeys and llamas as pets, with his big-eared friends making appearances at some equally big events. “They’re our main interest outside of the business and they’re good fun,” he laughs. “We do charity work with the donkeys, raising money for various organisations, and have done one or two weddings with them too. It’s a good experience and a chance to switch off.”

Back on the shop floor, William says the next year will be spent adding the fi nal touches to the new-look shop and maintaining a confi dent working atmosphere. With its 100th anniversary only five years away, here’s looking forward to the Gold Street shop shining even brighter in its centenary year.

William Craghill was named IJL Retail Stars in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014, in association with headline sponsor Pandora and principle partner The Company of Master Jewellers.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2014 book in full online, click here.

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