What’s the history of the business?
We started in 1982 with a shop in Preston, we were busy we were profitable and the opportunity came up to extend the business.
So we opened a shop in Blackburn in 1988 and it just grew from there. So now we have four shops in Preston, Blackburn, Bury and Carlisle and we’ve just opened a Thomas Sabo store, next door to our shop in Preston.
What was your strategy for staying in the industry and keeping strong?
You’ve got to keep moving, innovating, changing and have an eye on how the world is moving and how the world is changing. It’s a very tough market and you’ve got to be on the ball, sharp and looking for new ideas and ways to change and ways to improve.
How do you keep up with trends, competitors and newcomers?
I think you have to have eyes everywhere; you have to see what’s happening on the high street you have to be in touch with the media. And I think you have to listen to young people; just because somebody happens to join a business at the age of 16, 17 or 18 it doesn’t mean that their contribution is less valuable that’s often where the best ideas come from.
Talk us through the partnership with Thomas Sabo?
We’ve been working with the brand for a number of years and I enjoy working with them. The shop next door to us in Preston became available and I was having a coffee with Jon Crossick (Thomas Sabo MD). we talked we came up with an idea. we shook hands and for me a handshake means a lot and the deal was done.
What is the actual concept?
It’s next door to our store in Preston. We’ve taken a third of the wall away between the two shops so you can move freely between the two, but from the outside they look like totally separate shops. This is the first shop Thomas Sabo has opened that doesn’t belong to them and it’s the first major partnership like this that either of us have done.
What will we see in the future?
I think we’re really good at what we do but I want to be better. We’ve got some ideas for growth and development in our other shops – we’re now looking forward to the pre-Christmas run up, and I think it is going to be tough but I think we’ll have a good Christmas.