National jewellery retailer Beaverbrooks is more focused on strengthening its existing estate, than growing the number of store doors.
While the company’s managing director and chairman admit they would love to open more stores, they say this will only happen if the new boutique or location will add to the business – meaning its about quality over quantity.
Beaverbrooks chairman, Mark Aldestone, tells Professional Jeweller: “As far as the future is concerned, there’s been a significant change to the property market since 2008. We grew from about 30 stores in 1994, to 65 in 2008 — so more than doubled in 14 years. Since 2008 we grew by net five stores. So you can see it is a much slower growth. But that doesn’t faze us, because we are a super business, but we are not looking to become massive we are just looking to become stronger.
“Between now and 2022 there are three stores that we can think of that we would want to open. So we are not looking for huge expansion, we are looking to strengthen.”
With this in mind, Beaverbrooks has a new Omega boutique going into Stratford and is in the process of refitting its Bluewater store.
Beaverbrooks is also revamping its Edinburgh boutique, and in Preston the business has a partnership with Whittles, which will see the independent jeweller expand its store to include a large Rolex area.
Managing director, Anna Blackburn, says: “For us it is not just about the number of stores, we look at our stores and they have to deliver and they have to add to the portfolio, so over the last few years we have really focused on strengthening the existing estate. And we have invested significantly. We have re-done a lot of the stores, there have been a number of stores that have had significant refits. So as well as looking at new opportunities, it is about strengthening what we have already got because we are here for the long term.
“In the last four consecutive years we’ve hit record profits and sustained it, and for me that’s the ongoing biggest challenge. We are in a great place with our people – they are happier than ever. So the challenge for us now is to sustain those high levels of profits and keep the culture where it is in terms of an engagement point of view. So it’s about maintaining, growing and strengthening going forward, which we will definitely do.”