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Banks-Lyon proves there is plenty of life after Rolex for experienced indies

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Banks Lyon

Losing Rolex can be a near fatal blow to some retailers, but Banks-Lyon in Lancaster is proving that 40 years’ experience of working with the biggest luxury Swiss watchmakers is more than enough preparation to face the future without the world’s biggest-selling brand.

Rodney Banks-Lyon opened his first shop in Lancaster in 1985, and stocked Rolex from day one and for the next 30 years.

Banks-Lyon and Rolex parted company in 2015, but the retailer was well-positioned with alternatives including Omega, TAG Heuer, Breitling, Hublot and Cartier continuing to bring in customers.

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The business has been so successful that it is ready to open a second store in nearby Kendal in May.

The store fit is already underway, Mr Banks-Lyon told WatchPro, and will open with anchor brands including TAG Heuer, Longines and British watchmaker Bremont, he confirmed.

The second store has been made possible by a second generation of Banks-Lyons joining the family business.

Maxine Banks-Lyon, daughter of co-founders Rodney and Jasmin, joins the company as marketing director along with her husband Alexander Pecko who is a director. Maxine Banks-Lyon has previously worked at jeweller Theo Fennell, TAG Heuer UK and fine wine business Berry Bros. & Rudd.

  • Read the full interview with Rodney Banks-Lyon in the April edition of WatchPro.

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