There is no denying what has kept Michael Wainwright busy this year: the re-opening of Boodles’ newly extended – and highly anticipated – flagship store on New Bond Street.
From thrashing out the terms to secure the property in the first place to dealing with all the stresses that come with a fit-out of that magnitude, he has navigated all the tricky challenges that such projects bring.
“It took a lot of negotiation with landlords but we got there in the end and are thrilled with the result,” reflects Michael, who also recently became Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, a position that he is incredibly proud of.
“Our showroom is now double the size with a second store front on Albemarle Street; we have also introduced a new VIP area and have created ‘The Boodles Apartment’, a private living room style entertaining space above the shop.”
The impact that the expansion has had on its business cannot be underestimated. It has allowed Boodles to create a luxurious and welcoming environment that is reflective of the quality customer service that it promises, while also increasing its brand presence at the heart of the city. As Michael himself says, it’s a statement that Boodles “means business” in the West End.
A good manager will always be able to stand back and assess the bigger picture when judging company performance and Michael certainly possesses that quality. It is not lost on him that heavy investment in design and branding over a period of many years is also paying off for the business, which today runs nine shops.
“We are increasing the success ratio with in-house designed collections; for example our new ‘Sophie’ collection, created in tribute to Boodles ambassador Sophie Dahl, has made an excellent start since it launched in May.
With regards to branding, our summer brochure, ‘Finely Coloured’, featuring important fancy coloured diamonds may have been our best ever publication. Ultimately, you’ve got to keep freshening and changing things in order to move forward,” he concludes.