Blackburn’s Ainsworth Jewellers will focus on rebuilding their brand to adapt to a fast-changing marketplace as they celebrate their 150th anniversary this year, director Phil Ainsworth tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.
BLACKBURN, England, March 18, 2020 – Ainsworth Jewellers, who are celebrating 150 years in the Lancashire town, are planning a new strategy to rebuild their brand.
CMJ and NAJ member Ainsworth expects to reduce the range of jewellery and watch brands that it offers, shedding underperforming stock, and will reach out to a growing British Asian local market.
“We are discussing a possible collaboration with London retailer and supplier PureJewels, which has an established network of British Asian customers,” said director Phil Ainsworth.
“Our main focus this year as we celebrate our 150th anniversary will be to focus on developing our own brand.”
The rebranding exercise could encompass bespoke bridal and engagement rings and new jewellery collections.
Ainsworth this year marks its continuous presence in Blackburn since 1870 and will host a special networking event for CMJ members and suppliers in June to celebrate the anniversary.
The first floor of the shop on Darwen Street presents a museum-like showcase of jewellery and memorabilia spanning Ainsworth’s long history in the town.
Ainsworth is encouraging customers whose families bought items from the jeweller to come forward with their pieces so that they can be highlighted as part of an Instagram story campaign.
“We are eager to tell the story of Ainsworth Jewellers, begun by Joseph Ainsworth and carried on by subsequent generations to the present day,” Phil said.
Phil works closely with his father Ken, who is now in his eighties. Ken expects to scale back his involvement in the day-to-day affairs of the jeweller, while Phil, aided by his fiancée Helen Dimmick, will devote more time to creating a strategy that will enable Ainsworth to become a destination jeweller.
Ainsworth has sizable premises in the cathedral quarter of the town and expects to benefit from the redevelopment and gentrification of the area over the next few years.
Brands that have outperformed recently in the jewellery store include Trollbeads and Henryka, Phil said.
Gem-set jewellery is also selling well, and customer tastes have shifted to yellow gold, he added.
The coronavirus pandemic remains a concern to Ainsworth because of its potential impact to erode footfall to the shop, and the risk of staff illness, Phil said.
The window display, refreshed every few weeks, centred on Mother’s Day in March, and featured a large variety of stock, from diamond cuts by Royal Asscher to watches, such as Bering, Elliot Brown and Dreyfuss.
The jeweller is stepping up its social media activities, notably on Instagram, in order to highlight new stock, triggering purchase enquiries.