Family-run Gold Arts in Brighton’s Lanes has had to turn part of the business into a pawnbrokers due to the area becoming “saturated” with jewellers.
Doug Newman, who has run Gold Arts jewellers in Brighton Place for over 40 years, says an overcrowded market, pressures on retail in the city and fears over Brexit have been putting pressure on the business.
When he first opened the shop in 1979, there were just a handful of jewellers in The Lanes. Now there are 17 jewellery stores within a two-minute walk of Gold Arts.
In Eastbourne and Chichester, where the jeweller has other branches, business is growing, but in Brighton where the company has vast competition, its a different story.
“If I didn’t own the freehold on our shop, we’d be making a loss,” the business owner tells The Argus. “We have branches in Chichester and Eastbourne and they’re not seeing this. They’re very successful, and they’re growing.
“I’m afraid it’s a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth in The Lanes.
“There’s no way the demand for jewellery is big enough to support all these shops.”
Gold Arts is now expanding the pawnbroking side of the business, G.A Pawnbrokers, to combat the troubles the company faces.
The Argus reports Newman saying: “We’re going to have a bespoke pawnbrokers shop. In the past, only poorer people were thought to visit pawnbrokers. But now, lots of people are looking for secure, short term loans. They leave valuable items with us as security.”