Luxury jewellery consortium, the Houlden Group, has announced the appointment of James Rice as the latest director to join the board.
Rice is currently sales and marketing director of Hull based Hugh Rice, a luxury family-run jeweller founded in 1965 which has since expanded from Hull and Beverley, throughout Yorkshire and into the North East.
Houlden said Rice’s “irrefutable heritage and knowledge of the modern-day workings of a successful retail jewellery empire makes him an invaluable asset to the Houlden board”.
While attending university in Lancaster, he worked in-store at Hugh Rice, covering roles in procurement, stock replenishment and sales tracking. He joined the family business in earnest in 2006, and when the brand moved premises to St. Stephens in 2008, and began its journey with Pandora, he was “instrumental” in the opening of a further nine Pandora stores.
During this time, Rice studied for and completed his DGA, while overseeing the opening of a new Hugh Rice store in Harrogate designed to focus on the luxury side of the jewellery market and saw the brand open their first Luxe by Hugh Rice store the following year.
Houlden chief executive, Helen Haddow, said: “After five years of valued service, Patrick Keane stepped down from the board in the summer of 2019, making way for James and further highlighting the changing nature of the Houlden.
“The appointment of James reflects our confidence in the Houlden vision and values, and we believe James’s multi-faceted knowledge and wealth of experience will be invaluable as we focus on digital preservation and future proofing. James will play a vital role in delivering the Houlden vision and advising and implementing the best practices to benefit our valued Members and Suppliers.”
Rice added: “Houlden are passionate, principled and progressive, so I am delighted and privileged to have been invited to join the board of Directors. Houlden consistently deliver high value experiences and opportunities for their Members, so I look forward to commencing a role that will see me assist in the continuing the growth and future of Houlden, and I am looking forward to the new challenges that this position will bring.”