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Safety first as watch retailers and jewellers decide to close

Grand Seiko Store (1)

Dipples, which has two stores in Dereham and Norwich in Nofolk, was among the retailers WatchPro featured earlier this week in a roundup of stores still open.

Today, managing director Chris Ellis phoned to say that was no longer possible and this will be the last day of trading.

“If everything else is closing on the high street, and with the safety of my team absolutely paramount, we have no choice now,” he said.

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Customers are encouraged to shop online at Dipples.com.

Grand Seiko also informed us today that it is closing its boutique in London’s Knightsbridge.

Its near neighbours Harrods and Harvey Nichols have also shut, as has the Rolex boutique run by Bucherer across the Brompton Road.

Watches of Switzerland, on the same Knightsbridge thoroughfare, remains open.

“We took the decision to close the doors last night and will remain closed until further notice,” says Seiko UK managing director David Edwards.

“As you can imagine, this was a difficult decision but following discussion with our boutique manager and staff we concluded it was the right thing to do for the continued well-being of them, our clients and of course as part of the combined effort to prevent further spread of this pernicious virus.

“Clients can still buy watches through the www.seikoboutique.co.uk website and phone lines are already re-directed to staff mobiles for any information,” Mr Edwards adds.

Dipples is a five-generation family business that has been trading since 1878, and Mr Ellis is certain the company will weather the Coronavirus outbreak. He welcomed the announcement yesterday by chancellor Rishi Sunak that the government will pay any staff that have to be furloughed through this period of social distancing.

“My intention has always been to keep the team together, but the assistance will help,” Mr Ellis said.

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Tags : Coronavirusdipplesgrand seiko
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder