East Sussex-based independent jewellery retailer W.E. Clark & Son is refitting its two stores to cater to different demographics.
Although the retailer’s stores are not too far apart geographically, the type of customers in Eastbourne and Lewes where W.E. Clark & Son resides are very different.
Lewes is a very affluent town with similar property prices to London. For the retailer’s Lewes branch, wealthy customers come from a 70 mile radius to shop W.E Clark’s jewellery offering, where as the Eastbourne branch attracts a much more senior demographic due to its location.
“The average age of the customer [in Eastbourne] will be a lot older,” W.E. Clark & Son managing director, David Clark explains. “This means you have to change things slightly because the pace of things slows down and people take longer to my decisions.”
In response to the more senior clientele, W.E. Clark has fitted out the Eastbourne store with seating areas and a high-end coffee machine to make visitors feel relaxed, welcomed and entertained. This is all part of what the MD calls the ‘Clark experience’, going above and beyond to meet consumers needs.
Looking ahead to the next 12 months, Clark says the retailer is looking to further develop the experience side of the Lewes branch.
In 2012, the Lewes branch had a very large redevelopment and now Clark wants to use its two levels to offer a unique customer experience.
Clark wants to showcase the businesses’ jewellery in a different environment. He explains: “We’re in a very fortunate position [in Lewes] next to the river overlooking the oldest brewery in the country. Lewes is full of independents, nearly 800 independents, and it’s an ideal location to offer this [a different] experience.”
In Eastbourne W.E. Clark & Son will be pushing up the average price point by introducing higher end stock items and more pre-owned watches.
Clark concludes: “The reputation of the business is immense. It’s a local business in Lewes and Eastbourne but people have very high regard for us, which is fortunate. I think that although we have all these areas of competition – online and increased competition around us – we have been around for nearly 200 years and not to take that as a matter of complacency, but it’s a positive.”