This past year was supposed to be a quiet one at High Rice Jewellers; after a period of rapid growth and change Mike Rice wanted a bit of time to reflect. Things didn’t quite go to plan.
“We originally wanted a quieter year to give us a chance to regroup after the Beverley and Hull store developments, however we had to take the opportunity [to acquire] the Harrogate store and to also open a further Pandora store in Bradford,” says Mike, a man known never to pass up a good business opportunity.
Another opportunity that Mike just cannot resist is the long-awaited launch of Rolex sister brand Tudor into the UK. Hugh Rice’s stores in Beverly and Harrogate will be official stockists when the brand lands in September, something that Mike says he is “very excited” about.
With all these exciting developments at the business, it’s not just shoppers who have been flocking to the stores – other retailers have been stopping by to have a good old nosy, and Mike is very humbled they have.
“We have received a number of delegates and visitors from inside and outside of the industry, and what has been very satisfying are the number of comments and compliments we have received on our Hull and Beverley stores and the stimulus people say we have provided in helping them to improve their own businesses,” he says. “A lot of the comments reflect that we have inspired other businesses with our continuing growth.”
And when looking for his own slice of inspiration, Mike turns his attention not to business but to pleasure. “Without a doubt the mighty Hull City’s magnificent performance at Wembley in the FA Cup final and their qualifying for the first time for Europe has been my proudest moment outside of the business,” he beams.
And with this year not turning out quite as quiet as he’d hoped, maybe 2015 will be the year he can take his foot off the pedal for a bit and get to spend more time with the Tigers. Maybe.