Nicholas James says goodbye to jewellery industry

Hatton Garden jeweller ceases trading to concentrate on new ventures.

Contemporary jeweller Nicholas James has pulled the shutters down on its Hatton Garden store for the last time, closing yesterday after a decade in London’s diamond district.

The award-winning retail store and design business founded by Nick Fitch has been put into voluntary liquidation, with Fitch planning to exit the jewellery industry to concentrate on new projects.

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A statement released by Nicholas James said the decision to wrap up the business was based on the continuing strain of the recession and the changing retail climate, particularly in Hatton Garden, "where a trend for undercutting prices has decimated retail margins. Consumer access to trade priced diamonds via the internet has also made this trend particularly difficult to counter".

The Nicholas James brand and retail store has long stood out in Hatton Garden, recognised for both its contemporary store design and sleek jewellery offer. The business first opened a shop in the area in 1999, before moving to a larger premises on Hatton Garden itself.

Fitch said of the closure: “As a jeweller and a retailer we’ve worked incredibly hard to deliver excitement and innovation. However the current economic climate means the showroom is no longer sustainable. It is with great sadness that I’ll be leaving the industry. There are some fantastic characters that I will miss, as well as the day to day contact with our customers.

"I’ve found it terribly hard to watch as the retail jewellery industry continues to unravel by not protecting its luxury status and pricing. It is oddly one of the few luxury items that is actually undermined by its own supply chain. As such I am no longer confident that Nicholas James can afford to continue providing the exceptional level of product and service for which it has become synonymous with."

Fitch added that he has been fortunate to experience some of the highs of British designer jewellery over the years, having worked on a number of prestigious commissions. "By collaborating with a series of design partners outside of jewellery I have had the opportunity to flex my creative muscles with some extraordinary results and these projects have inspired me to travel in a new direction. It will be a fresh challenge and I welcome the opportunities in front of me.”

Looking ahead, Fitch will continue to operate a diamond consultancy business for long-term customers or those seeking advice. He also plans to concentrate on a new initiative relating to his expertise of vintage Porche 911s.




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