HOT 100 RETAIL TITANS: David Gillow, CEO, Galio

If you have ever wondered exactly who those people are that tap away into the wee hours of the night on watch forums, forensically dissecting the latest horological fails and triumphs, wonder no more. David Gillow is a man with a watch handle.

“To be honest, I am defined by my passion for watches,” says Gillow. “I love them. I could talk about them until the cows come home, and I tend to attract friends with similar interests. I can spend hours on forums and with friends who are collectors and enthusiasts. It’s something I live and breathe.”

Luckily for Gillow, it also happens to be his profession. He has been selling watches – with a speciality in vintage and collectible items – to the great and good of Hertfordshire for the past quarter of a century through his store Galio in St Albans.

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This month will be a big one for Gillow as his business empire is set to expand with the acquisition of a second retail location in St Albans. The company has taken over Jago, which was established way back in 1750, making it one of the oldest independent jewellers in the UK, and had been trading up until the start of this year when its owner retired. Rather than see such a historic business lost, Gillow stepped in and purchased the store and has been refurbishing it ahead of its grand reopening this month.

“The retail industry has had some of its most challenging times ever and I am proud we have weathered that storm and emerged stronger than ever,” says Gillow. “I feel fortunate to have a super team around me that includes my wife – we both are completely immersed in this incredible industry – and an amazing supportive family.”

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