Liberty to increase jewellery floor space

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Jewellery to get a boost in £1.2m refit at London department store.

London department store Liberty is planning to increase the floorspace dedicated to jewellery as it expands its ground floor.

The bolstering of its jewellery offer is part of a £1.2 million refit that will add 2,400 sq ft to the department store’s selling space.

In an interview with Vogue magazine, Liberty managing director Ed Burstell said: "We are currently working on the expansion of the ground floor which will reopen early next year. We will have far more space for jewellery and handbags, as well as a whole new entrance to the store.”

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Liberty is also planning to open three new storeys of the building, which will face onto Carnaby Street, add a personal shopping department and install a rooftop bar.

Last week the department store, which was bought by BlueGem Capital Partners in June last year, delivered some encouraging first-half results with sales growth up 16% year on year.

Liberty’s owner said it is so encouraged by the company’s performance that it is reinvesting all the profits made back into the business to “enable further growth”. BlueGem Capital Partners managing partner Marco Capello added: “These extremely positive results have given us even more confidence in the potential of Liberty as a global brand.”

The department store is continuing to snap up new brands, including US fashion watch brand TOKYObay. The brand has entered the store this month, which is its first stockist in the UK.

Liberty has taken on the brand’s AW11 collection that comprises a range of styles including double wraparound leather bracelets, classic feminine timepieces and larger boyfriend-style unisex watches.

TOKYObay, which has been in business for 20 years this year, is enjoying a similarly strong trading period. Sales at the brand jumped 40% year on year in 2010 and the company said that it is continuing to experience an upwards trend in 2011.

The brand, which also sells clocks and bags, has created some new additions to celebrate its 20th anniversary including Argent sterling silver and rose gold jewellery and a watch series made from historic Japanese woven braid.

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