This month, Professional Jeweller catches up with chief executive of H&T Pawnbrokers, John Nichols. Here’s a sneak preview of the feature, due to appear in our April issue.
With an increase in visibility on the high street since the nineties, the sale of jewellery through pawnbrokers has become big business. Founded in 1897 in south London, H&T Pawnbrokers started small, taking everything in “from bedsheets to coats,” and evolved gradually over the 20th century and into the 21st.
“It’s not that long ago that you started to see an improvement generally in the pawnbroking industry. It was always at the back of a jewellery shop prior to the nineties, whereas, at Harvey and Thompson (as it was known then), we put bespoke pawnbroking shops onto the high street front.”
With the pawn industry catapulted into public consciousness in recent years with the help of television programmes such as Posh Pawn, the industry is experiencing a shift in reputation. Although not a viewer of the show himself, Nichols appreciates the way it is dispelling negative associations with the industry.
“Is it like your normal pawnbroking shop? Absolutely not, but it’s a very entertaining programme. It’s getting people to understand that pawnbroking is an acceptable way of doing business. It has received years of stigma, but I think that is changing. It’s a good place to get short-term cash along with a whole range of items, especially jewellery.”
Read the full interview in the April issue of Professional Jeweller, out soon.