Ernest Jones is opening a store on Lincoln’s high street next month.
The corner store, formerly a large corner unit used by fashion shops Dorothy Perkins and Burton, is currently boarded up with signs saying Ernest Jones will open in September.
The Signet Jeweler-owned jeweller currently has a shop in Lincoln’s Waterside shopping centre.
Ernest Jones has not said whether the Waterside unit will close, but Signet’s president Seb Hobbs told Watchpro earlier this year that the group is reducing its investment in small retail centres.
“The UK Jewelry division has a more diverse range of store locations than in the US or Canada, including some exposure to smaller retail centers which do not justify the investment required to refurbish the site to the current store format. Consequently, the UK Jewelry division is gradually closing stores in such locations as leases expire or satisfactory property transactions can be executed; however, the ability to secure such property transactions is not certain,” he said.
It is increasingly rare for major jeweller multiples to open stores on the high street, favouring more secure and higher traffic shopping centres.
F.Hinds this month said it has not opened a single high street unit in the past 10 years, despite opening 18 shops in that time. The company says that business rates, calculated using rent levels that high streets have not commanded for years, are making town centres unviable.
Beaverbrooks and Fraser Hart have also told WatchPro this year that they will focus on high footfall shopping centre positions