Watch and jewellery retailer Goldsmiths is looking to the reopening of stores as it announces major plans to update its in-store experience over the coming months.

Unlike some retailers who are still making efforts to elevate their e-commerce offering as the pandemic continues, the Watches of Switzerland-owned chain appears to be focusing heavily on the impending reopening of stores.

It will introduce a range of changes to its bricks-and-mortar offering, including a new luxury store concept to be rolled out in major retail destinations from autumn 2021.

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This, Goldsmiths revealed, will include a focus on customer experience, centered around VIP rooms, luxury hospitality and in-store digital browsing tools, all of which customers have been missing for most of the past year.

Dedicated brand areas will sit alongside an open, flexible layout with VIP areas and hospitality bars where customers will be able to enjoy a curated food and beverage experience.

In addition to its big watch brands, the company’s statement also mentioned a complementary jewellery offering, featuring FOPE, Messika, Gucci, Jenny Packham and Mappin & Webb.

Craig Bolton, executive director of the Watches of Switzerland Group, said: “This is a significant milestone for Goldsmiths, which has a well-earned reputation for offering UK customers trusted expert service and a fabulous presentation of brands.

“Luxury today has become far more relaxed, inclusive and experiential, so while we are elevating the Goldsmiths brand position, our goal is to make our valued clients feel at home whilst visiting our stores.

“Our ambition is for customers to have a memorable luxury experience that stays with them and their families long after they’ve made their purchase.

“We believe the repositioning and new store concept will transform not just the Goldsmiths profile and customer experience, but also bring fresh life to high streets in major towns and cities around the country following an extremely challenging period for in-person retail caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.”

The new stores will be designed in collaboration with Quadrant Design and will initially be rolled out in Manchester’s Trafford Centre, Cribbs Causeway in Bristol, Meadowhall in Sheffield, Canterbury, Reading and Leicester.