It has been a turbulent year for Blackpool’s premier watch and jewellery retailer Leonard Dews. The business lost its Rolex agency last year in controversial circumstances and also chose to close its loss-making Isle of Man boutique.
But the business has regrouped under owner Michael Hyman and general manager Gabrielle McNamara.
It reconfigured its Blackpool store around a Patek Philippe room, and will almost double the size of the retail space next year when it opens a dedicated area for bridal and other fine jewellery.
In his first interview since opening the Patek Philippe room, Mr Hyman told WatchPro that the business has a new energy and direction after the turmoil of losing Rolex and closing on the Isle of Man last year.
“It was a difficult time but we are excited about the future,” Mr Hyman says in an interview to be published in the October edition of WatchPro.
“The money we made from the sale of stock from the Isle of Man store has been re-invested in the Blackpool business, which is being transformed,” Mr Hyman says.
When the Blackpool store fully reopens in May next year, its retail space will be split roughly 60/40 between luxury watches and fine jewellery.
The store will have windows facing in three directions on a street just one block back from the seaside towns’s famous beachfront.
Blackpool as a town is also improving, according to Mr Hyman. There are improved rail links to London, a tram system is being extended and a new conference centre is opening.
The biggest boost to the profile of the town comes every November when Strictly Come Dancing rolls into the Winter Gardens ballroom.