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INTERVIEW: Chisholm Hunter on coping with the coronavirus crisis and life after lockdown

CHUPDATE

It’s been just over three weeks since the prime minister ordered jewellery stores to close, and since that time, directors have been busy behind the scenes strategising for a sparkling future, despite the coronavirus curve ball that has been thrown at the industry unexpectedly this year.

For Chisholm Hunter, which is still operating its online store, the directors made the decision to commit to a salary reduction, both to support the business and also to stand in solidarity with furlough staff.

READ HERE: Chisholm Hunter directors commit to salary reductions during coronavirus crisis

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Here, Professional Jeweller finds out what the company has been doing to drive the digital side of the business and prepare for life after lockdown.

What are you doing to make the most of the digital side of Chisholm Hunter while the stores are close?

The web department have the luxury of working from home at this time. This means we can continue to improve proactively online whilst adhering to government guidelines now in place regarding social distancing.

With regards to online sales, we recognise that although we are in a pandemic, people are still going to have their own special moments. Although it is a shame that we cannot share in these moments directly in store, we take pride in the fact that we are still endeavoring to look after everybody online.

How are you preparing for life after the lockdown?

We are always preparing and strategising and the objective never changes – to give our clients a unique and fantastic experience. That said, the current lockdown has given us time to reflect, consolidate and self-learn which can only lead to great improvements when normal business resumes.

On that note, despite the lockdown, we are maintaining a consistent dialogue with each other and the ideas that are being shared are very exciting.

Chisholm Hunter is looking forward to life after lockdown.

How have you been communicating with staff?

Harry has been on the phone constantly since the lockdown has taken place. There is not a manager who has not heard from him at least once. Unfortunately, there is only one of Harry though so we are maintaining weekly communications direct to everyone within the business. That way we are all up to date with current events as and when news breaks.

Can you share anything of the strategy you are putting in place to keep business afloat during this time?

Every business will now have a plan to implement certain precautions as we enter in to uncharted territories. For example, Professional Jeweller recently reported on what was a proud moment for CH in which the senior leadership team came together and we are now currently working on a salary to match the furlough rate. Everyone is doing their part to protect the long term future of the Chisholm Hunter family.

With that said, Harry has always had a long term strategy with regards to the business. That strategy is based on very strong foundations which we can all take comfort in.

What have you been doing personally to stay sane and make time go by a little faster during self-isolation?

The full Brown household has been working during this time. With that said, the dogs have been enjoying some very long evening walks.

Tags : chisholm huntercoronavirus
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The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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