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Goldsmiths brings luxury watches to the fore in relaxed, luxurious and inclusive new store design

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Goldsmiths will reopen the first of its stores with a brand new look and layout in Canterbury on October 1.

This will be followed by five more completed refurbishments this side of Christmas in Reading, Brighton, Braehead, Leeds and Leicester.

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The first six stores have been selected because they represent various formats of Goldsmiths showrooms and different line-ups of brands including Rolex, OMEGA, Cartier, TAG Heuer, Breitling, Hublot, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Tudor watches along with fine jewellery from FOPE, Gucci, Roberto Coin and Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths’ Brightest Diamond and Jenny Packham.

Watches of Switzerland Group, the umbrella organisation for Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland in the UK, reported in recent financial results that luxury watches now account for 85% of group turnover, with the contribution from luxury jewellery now just 8%.

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That has informed the layout of the new Goldsmiths stores. The usual configuration of watches to the left of windows and showrooms and jewellery to the right is replaced with timepieces placed at the front of every shop and jewellery at the back.

A walk-through video of the new concept was shared this week, showing a bright, open space with branded areas, hospitality areas with bars and in-store service workshops.

The stores have been developed by Quadrant Design, whose design director Sonia Brown describes the relaxed, luxurious and inclusive design being built on five pillars:

  1. To break down barriers using a modular system that makes every store unique.
  2. To take customers on a journey of self-discovery that does not feel intimidating.
  3. To become a space where knowledge can be shared.
  4. To create memorable moments for customers who are encouraged to come into stores to hang out.
  5. To deliver an authentic experience that connects customers to the Goldsmiths retail brand.

A monochrome palette of luxurious materials is used such as white-washed oak timber, white terrazzo and blackened steel. Every element uses a combination of hard and soft, Ms Brown describes, and mixes repeating vertical lines and soft curves inspired by the Goldsmiths logo.

Craig Bolton, who oversees the UK business as executive director of the Watches of Switzerland Group, says the Goldsmiths refurbishments are the latest in a long line of upgrades to the group’s Watches of Switzerland and Mappin & Webb stores that has been underway since 2014.

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They also come after a rationalisation of the Goldsmiths network from a peak of around 150 stores to 71 today.

“This is a significant milestone for Goldsmiths, which has a well-earned reputation for offering UK customers trusted expert service and a fabulous presentation of brands,” Mr Bolton describes.

“Luxury today has become far more relaxed, inclusive, and experiential, so while we are elevating the Goldsmiths brand position, our goal is to make everyone feel valued and at home when visiting our stores. Our ambition is for all to have a memorable luxury experience long after they’ve made their purchase. We believe the repositioning and new store concept will transform not just the Goldsmiths profile and experience, but also brings some fresh life to our high streets,” he adds.

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