Ashley Pugh, business development director.

Ashley Pugh to focus building links with fashionable jewellery brands.

Buyers group Houlden has appointed W Bruford managing director Ashley Pugh as its brand development adviser.

Pugh has been tasked with repositioning the Houlden Group, with a particular focus on helping its retailer members to embrace branded fashion-forward jewellery.


The appointment of Pugh has been in reaction to the rising price of precious metals, the increasing influence of fashion jewellery brands and the importance of e-commerce strategies, according to Houlden Group.

Houlden Group chief executive Stuart Laing said: The core activity of the Houlden Group is to promote fine jewellery and the best of British and continental design but we also need to respond to new trends, tastes and budgets. The end objective is to secure a new generation of buyers who return again and again, becoming a regular client and who will buy their engagement ring and other important pieces of jewellery from the same stores.

The Houlden Group aims to provide members, existing and potential, with ideas, whether based on shared experiences or new knowledge to drive business forward. It s important for us to be ahead to industry trends and ensure we have the competitive edge to grow our business.”

Pugh has relevant experience in this arena to bring to his role with the group. He is the managing director of fine watch and jewellery retailer W Bruford in Eastbourne, but two years ago the retailer reacted to market trends bu opening up a secondary store in the town called Inspired by Brufords that focused on branded fashion-forward jewellery.

The new division of the business has proved to be a hit with sales doubling in the two years since its launch. It has since opened a second Inspired by Brufords shop in Brighton.

Push said: “I am very happy to share my experience with the members of the Houlden Group – for many it is a good opportunity to increase turnover by working with these up-and-coming brands and I look forward to presenting ideas and concepts to the group.”