In some ways Helen Haddow has one of the toughest jobs in the British jewellery industry given that she is tasked with following in the gigantic footsteps of Stuart Laing after being appointed as chief executive of Houlden Jewellers.
But having worked with Stuart for almost half of the 40 years he was at the helm, there is nobody better placed to carry on where he left off and take the organisation forward.
Having had the opportunity to be mentored into the role and see Laing’s entrepreneurial skills at close quarters, Helen is excited about ensuring that Houlden remains a dynamic entity capable of adapting to the ever-evolving needs of its partners.
“The retail world is changing at an accelerating pace, and it is important for Houlden to respond to the rhythm of this change,” she explains. “We must always keep the needs of our members at the forefront of our vision. My appointment, supported by the new responsibilities of the board, brings a fresh approach to the way that we endeavour to meet our members’ needs. I am passionate about Houlden, and about our members business, which is translated to members at the heart of everything we do.”
Houlden has created a consumer badge of integrity under the ‘Jewellers of Excellence’ moniker and this is continuing to build momentum. Helen regards it as an important feature for the organisation and the industry.
“This badge of integrity is a key aspect in reminding our members what Houlden is all about, and what it means to be a member of this prestigious group, while at the same time reinforcing our members online profile with the consumer, which is growing in importance with the omni-channel retailing environment,” she says.