RETAIL SPOTLIGHT – Laings sees increase in turnover after retail and workshop investment

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Family-owned luxury jewellers, Laings, has seen its turnover increase following a year of continued investment into its UK retail, digital and workshop spaces.

Laings’ latest accounts reported a 5% increase in turnover to £63.3m in the last financial year (to May 2023). The profit before tax of £3.7m will be reinvested back into the business to support its 2024 ambitions, as well as attracting and securing additional skilled talent.

Unlike many retailers, who have chosen – or been forced – to close physical stores in favour of an online offering, the jeweller and watch retailer has remained focused on its physical presence – creating local jobs in the process and bringing new talent into the business.

As part of the development of the Rowan House building on Buchanan Street in Glasgow, Laings invested in the creation of a Rolex accredited watch workshop. It opened in late Spring 2023, allowing customers’ timepieces to be serviced in-house by highly skilled craftspeople.

After building up a loyal customer base in Southampton, 2023 saw the jeweller fit out and open a brand new, larger showroom in Westquay Shopping Centre in November. In Edinburgh, the watch floor within the showroom on George Street was also redesigned to offer clients a further enhanced environment to view luxury watch brands, including Rolex and Cartier,

Joe Walsh, CEO of Laings, said: “This has been the first year since 2020 that we have not felt any direct effects financially from the pandemic. As a luxury jewellers, we continue to focus on the importance of a bricks and mortar presence for several reasons.

“Showrooms allow our clients to see and feel each individual piece, steeping themselves in the rich and traditional history and expertise of our business and that of our prestigious partners.

“It is vital that we continue to invest for the future, making our physical assets as enticing and engaging as possible. Our online experience has also improved this year with our e-commerce team rebuilding and relaunching our website, transferring our luxury showroom offering to the ease of screens. This has allowed clients to make purchases online more easily when they cannot come to see us in store.”

RETAIL SPOTLIGHT – Laings sees increase in turnover after retail and workshop investment
Joe Welsh – Laings – © Julie Broadfoot – www.juliebee.co.uk

Joe Walsh, CEO, Laings

Over the coming year, Laings will progress the roll out of its programme of investment across all four cities in which it is based (Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton). Plans include the opening of the new multi-floored flagship showroom in Rowan House, Glasgow, a new TAG Heuer mono-brand showroom in Edinburgh and the expansion and development of its George Street showroom into 2025.

Joe Walsh continued: “This continues to be a very exciting period of growth for Laings and we are excited about what lies ahead for the coming year. Our turnover has continued to increase, which is a positive reflection of the decision we made to focus our investment in our showroom estate and client offering across the UK.

“Clearly, we could not have continued to achieve such growth without the dedication of our colleagues who remain at the heart of the business. Their expertise drives us forward and we are excited to bring them into the next chapter with us.”

Established in 1840, Laings is now in the hands of the sixth generation of the Laing family and is one of the largest independent jewellery businesses in the UK.