The Anthony Nicholas Group has sold seven Fraser Hart boutiques to Beaverbrooks and The Watches of Switzerland Group.
As part of what the Group describes as a “major re-focusing and investment programme” in its two brands, Fraser Hart and Fields, an agreement has been made for Beaverbrooks and the Watches of Switzerland Group to acquire the stores.
This announcement comes at a time where Fraser Hart has parted ways with Rolex and all seven stores being sold were authorised to sell the luxury watch brand, meaning Beaverbrooks might make its first foray as a Rolex stockists next year.
It has been confirmed that the Watch of Switzerland Group purchased four of the boutiques for £31.7m.
The group is buying Fraser Hart’s showrooms in two of London’s biggest shopping centres: Brent Cross and Westfield Stratford, plus stores in Kingston and York. These will be transformed it Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland boutiques.
Beaverbrooks has acquired the retailer’s stores in Milton Keynes, Cardiff and Croydon.
The scheduled completion for both transactions is in the first quarter of 2020.
The Anthony Nicholas Group said in a statement that it will now be focusing om developing the omni-channel business. 32 stores remain in the UK and 14 in Ireland, as well as an online channel in both markets.
Chief executive of the Anthony Nicholas Group, Noel Coyle, says: “We want to acknowledge and thank our teams in those stores leaving the group for their huge contribution to our business over the years and to wish them every success in the future.”
“Our strategy is framed by a clear vision of our target markets. We want our customers to enjoy the same high quality proposition wherever and whenever they choose to shop. That applies to every aspect of our business from the breadth and high quality of our watch, bridal and general jewellery portfolio to the overall customer experience.”
Under a comprehensive development plan over the next three years, the Anthony Nicholas Group says it will drive an investment programme encompassing its store and online channels as well as its watch and jewellery brands and product ranges.
The store environment within continuing Fraser Hart and Fields showrooms will be upgraded and re-purposed to enhance the overall buying experience for customers.
According to Coyle, the group is seeing sustained growth in its online sales and its ambition is to support and grow this channel significantly over the coming years.
“We will also be investing more in our people as part of this programme. We have fantastic people working with us across the group and we recognise how important they are in helping us to realise our ambition of developing long-term relationships with our customers,” he states.