Mappin & Webb to open stores outside the UK

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UK jeweller ready to push outside of the UK with revamped branding.

Aurum is planning to take jewellery chain Mappin & Webb to the international market and position itself as a direct competitor to Tiffany & Co.

There are no firm plans for international store openings as yet but Aurum chief executive Justin Stead told Professional Jeweller that he feels “morally obligated” to restore the jewellery chain to its former glory and that it has “huge scope internationally”.

At one time Mappin & Webb had stores all over the world but the chain is now reduced to 13 outlets in the UK.
Stead said: “We are really getting our teeth into it [the Mappin & Webb rebranding] and have brought it back to where it once was. Then it is not hard to think across borders. Once upon a time Mappin & Webb was all over the world.”

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The international growth of Mappin & Webb will be a slow burner, but Stead is hoping to take on international jewellery behemoth Tiffany & Co.

“We need to take the time sensibly and methodically and invest and come back to the forefront,” he said. “If you think about a global brand that has the ability to compete with Tiffany, it is Mappin & Webb. Tiffany has crafted that niche very well but Mappin & Webb has the opportunity to play outside of the UK.”

Stead says that Aurum will play on Mappin & Webb’s British heritage, which includes two royal warrants, when it makes its relaunch onto the international retail scene and despite the difficulties faced by some British luxury brands abroad, such as Burberry, Stead feels the time is right.

He said: “Mappin & Webb has an underlying foundation that is so remarkable and a heritage that it has a global opportunity.”

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