HOT 100 2014: Simon Walton, Berry’s

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Fate has a funny way of coming around, and just when Simon Walton was faced with disaster, out of the chaos rose a dream come true.

When luxury jeweller Berry’s, which now has seven stores, moved into Nottingham 12 years ago, Simon spotted the perfect site, but things just didn’t work out and the retailer instead signed for an alternative property 100m away. Last year, when the landlord of that building decided to relocate and, as such, made Berry’s homeless the original dream property came back on the market and Simon set about signing the lease and turning it into a three-store emporium that he believes is “one of the most attractive in the UK”.

“Let’s just hope the sales match up to its stature,” jokes Simon, who describes himself as a mouthy dad who loves nothing more than to watch his kids play sport. “We have a huge chandelier covering three floors; I only hope it stays up as it could become a real Rodney and Del Boy moment,” he jokes.

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For Simon the aim is for Berry’s is to be “the strongest jeweller outside London”, something it is working towards with gloriously fitted-out shops – its Victoria Quarter Leeds and Windsor stores have recently been revamped with watch brand corners – and exclusive brands, such as Richard Mille, for which it is the only stockist outside the capital.

With strong growth achieved in what has been a difficult trading environment it seems that fate may well continue to smile on Simon as he continues to “look after this business for the next generation, as a well known watch brand also quotes.”

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