When Laings of Glasgow acquired Laing The Jeweller and Parkhouse The Jeweller in 2017, the stated aim was to create a unified national retail brand with showrooms in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton and Cardiff.
Coverage across Scotland, England and Wales would allow Laings to launch national campaigns for a single luxury retail brand.
The transformation that began in 2017 is being supercharged over the next two years with Laings investing £10 million into elevating and expanding five multibrand showrooms in four cities.
Laings most recent accounts showed sales of £35 million for the 12 months to the end of May 2020, a slight dip from the prior year’s turnover of £42.4 million caused by lock down spoiling the final quarter of the year.
Prior to lock down, sales were on track to match the prior year, the company said.
Work has already started at Laings in St David’s Centre Cardiff, with the full reopening expected in the autumn.
Rolex and Patek Philippe
The showroom will treble in size, creating space to introduce Swiss watch brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe to its Welsh clientele.
The expansion in Cardiff is in response to our clients’ inquiries – catering to the watch collectors of Wales who might not have Laings at the forefront of their minds now, but hopefully they soon will. The showroom is right in the heart of the capital city and our expanded presence means we can give the brands we represent the stage to shine. No longer will Cardiff clients need to travel outside their home city to access these brands, they can enjoy having them on their doorstep – with Laings,” says Laings retail director Stuart McDowell.
The expanded showroom will also have dedicated areas for diamonds and jewellery.
Laings offers an expertly curated selection of fine jewellery and watches from some of the world’s most prestigious brands, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, OMEGA, Breitling, TAG Heuer, Cartier, Chopard, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Panerai, TUDOR and Wolf.
Laings’ workshops in Scotland will also see significant investment to make them part of the customer experience.
Clients will be invited to join the watchmakers and goldsmiths behind their benches to see their skills in action.
Workshops will host “client immersion sessions”, luxury events and meet the makers demonstrations to showcase expertise allowing clients to see first-hand the intricacies of every service.
“The workshops create a special experience for our clients,” says Laings CEO Joe Walsh.
“Not only will they be able to talk to the watchmakers and see them at work, they’ll also be able to attend events where they can gain a deeper insight into the craft — taking watches apart, seeing how the mechanics work and putting them back together. People are looking for experiences now and that’s what we want — to deliver a new form of retail that captures the imagination of our clients.”
Laings says it is expecting to grow its team by up to 25%. Accounts for 2020 showed the company had 162 employees, so around 40 jobs are expected to be created.
“A key aim of the multi-layered expansion is to attract talent to the industry, with Laings recruiting across all areas of the business,” the company says.