On Tuesday September 20 2016, the Ferris family celebrated the opening of their new Winchester Burrells boutique with an evening of storytelling, courtesy of ‘The World’s Greatest Explorer,’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes. More than 300 people filled The Great Hall to hear Sir Ranulph talk about his intrepid expeditions across the globe and then after the talk guests joined owners Edward and Tom Ferris in the Winchester store where chairman, Bill Ferris, officially opened it to the public. Lord-lieutenant, Nigel Atkinson Esq, chairman of the County Council, Keith Chapman MBE, and deputy mayor Cllr David McLean attended the event and offered a warm welcome to the Ferris family, stating what a wonderful addition the new store was to Winchester’s High Street.

The Swag name will disappear from the UK high street this year as its parent company completes a transition to concentrating on luxury jewellery and watches retail under the Burrells name.

Swag Jewellers is owned by WR Ferris Ltd, which bought Burrells in 2014. At the time there were five Swag stores and one Burrells, based in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

The business has already taken the Burrells retail brand into Staines-Upon-Thames and launched a flagship in Winchester by its head offices. This year the family firm will convert its final Swag store – located in the Bentall shopping centre in Kingston upon Thames – into a fourth Burrells boutique.


Burrells is positioned at the mid- to high-end of the watch and jewellery market, carrying brands such as Marco Bicego, Mikimoto and Chopard.

In the affluent Winchester and Royal Tunbridge Wells locations, around 55% of sales come from watches, according to managing director Ed Ferris.

In the latest set of accounts published at Companies House for the year ended April 30, 2018, WR Ferris recorded sales of £38.1 million, a 3% rise over the previous year.

Sister company T & E Ferris, which operates 19 Pandora franchise stores in the South of England, saw sales dip by 9% to £46.7 million in the 2017-18 financial year.

“We were bound to see a correction in the Pandora business after the extraordinary growth years of 2014 to 2016,” Mr Ferris told our sister publication WatchPro.

Both T &E Ferris and WR Ferris are wholly owned by Winchester Holdings, which reported sales of £57 million last year and operating profit of £5.5 million. Turnover from the holding company is lower than the combined total of its two subsidiaries because there is some trading of goods between the two, Mr Ferris explains.