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Family-owned independents follow the multiples in closing stores

BOODLES (10)

The same day that The Watches of Switzerland Group, Chisholm Hunter and Beaverbrooks announce that they are closing all stores, several of the country’s most successful independent retail groups have also shuttered their showrooms.

Boodles, Laing’s Berry’s David M Robinson, Rox all announced they are shutting today, and switching their focus to ecommerce and concierge services.

Laings Online is still open for business as usual although there are some changes to its delivery service. The company’s dedicated Online Customer Service Team is available at customer.service@laingsuk.com to help with any online purchases or general queries.

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Boodles has notified customers that, “As a family owned business, we have weathered much adversity over 222 years of existence – right now our main priority is for the health and safety of all the people that we work alongside. So, our shops are closed but Boodles Online is still open for business as usual, and we anticipate being able to fulfil most jewellery orders.

Berry’s Jewelers is closing temporarily from tomorrow until further notice, but its online shopping service is continuing to run at www.berrysjewellers.co.uk.

“All staff have been informed that they will be paid their normal salary and there will be no job losses,” Simon Oxby, group operations manager, tells WatchPro. “We are encouraging our staff to start or complete any online brand training courses and also to enroll on the GIA essentials distance learning courses, of which over 30 of our staff already have. Our online service is currently unaffected and we will be keeping all of our customers updated via our social media channels,” he adds.

All Pragnell showrooms are now closed until further notice to protect both staff and customers, the Stratford-Upon-Avon headquartered jeweller has told customers. “We are happy to take orders for items. Please call our normal showroom phone numbers for payment and delivery information,” it adds.

David M Robinson says that it is with a heavy heart it is closing its four UK showrooms from this afternoon (Monday) and is committed to keeping its teams of experts employed and busy.

“We will be taking this opportunity to develop the content you see from our social media channels with the help of our expert teams. A number of our sales ambassadors will be moving their experience online, joining forces to take over our platforms during this time as we introduce new podcasts and opportunities for you to connect with the DMR story,” the company reveals.

Rox is also focusing on serving customers through its ecommerce site Rox.co.uk.

“We are currently operating a normal delivery service in the UK,” the company states.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder