Laings has unveiled its vision for the future, with ambitious new plans to strengthen its presence across the United Kingdom.
After celebrating 180 years of trading in 2020, Laings is now looking ahead to build on its legacy as a leading destination for luxury jewellery and watches, with extensive expansion plans set to be unveiled across its key locations in Scotland, England and Wales.
Laings offers an expertly curated selection of fine jewellery and watches from some of the world’s most prestigious brands, including Rolex and Patek Philippe, as well as bespoke design services from the in-house team of master watchmakers, goldsmiths and designers. Now, the jeweller has announced it will be investing £10 million into the company over the next two years to transform its showrooms and workshops in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton and Cardiff, developing its retail experience and breathing new life into traditional crafts.
A key aim of the multi-layered expansion is to attract talent to the industry, with Laings recruiting across all areas of the business and growing its team by up to 25 per cent. Ensuring the artisan crafts that are essential to the industry are safeguarded for the future, Laings will also expand its aspirational workspaces for watchmakers and goldsmiths. This investment will offer opportunities to those in locations where there have previously been fewer positions available, while inspiring the next generation of talent to train in the field.
An Honour to Bring Swiss Excellence to its Welsh Clientele
The first in a series of transformations will be unveiled this Autumn with work already under way to treble the size of Laings’ St David’s Centre Cardiff showroom, allowing the company to introduce Swiss watch brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe to its Welsh clientele.
Stuart McDowell, Retail Director at Laings, says: “The expansion in Cardiff is in response to our client’s enquiries – catering to the watch collectors of Wales who might not have Laings at the forefront of their minds now, but hopefully they soon will. The showroom is right in the heart of the capital city and our expanded presence means we can give the brands we represent the stage to shine. No longer will Cardiff clients need to travel outside their home city to access these brands: they can enjoy having them on their doorstep – with Laings.”
Laings is also reimagining the way its Welsh clients experience diamonds and jewellery. The expanded showroom is set to include dedicated diamond and jewellery areas so that clients can view the carefully curated collections in private, with a glass of champagne served by Laings’ refreshments partner Lanson. Despite the changes, clients can expect the same warmth, expertise and attention that they have become accustomed to at Laings.
Regenerating The Watchmaking and Jewellery Industry
Laings’ workshops in Scotland will also see significant investment, marking the beginning of a new client experience. For the first time in the company’s history, clients will be invited to join the watchmakers and goldsmiths behind the benches to see their skills in action when completing services, drawing back the curtain on the artisans and allowing them to take centre stage. Upon opening, the workshops will play host to client immersion sessions, luxury events and meet the makers demonstrations to showcase expertise allowing clients to see first-hand the intricacies of every service.
Laings CEO, Joe Walsh, says: “The workshops create a special experience for our clients. Not only will they be able to talk to the watchmakers and see them at work, they’ll also be able to attend events where they can gain a deeper insight into the craft – taking watches apart, seeing how the mechanics work and putting them back together. People are looking for experiences now and that’s what we want – to deliver a new form of retail that captures the imagination of our clients.”
A New Era for Laings
These developments signal the start of a longer-term growth plan for Laings. Over the next 24 months, the company will embark on a journey of evolution to challenge jewellery and watchmaking retail experiences – bringing innovation to every area of the business, while never forgetting the deep-rooted heritage that anchors the Laings story.