This is a rare moment for Faye Soteri, Lisa Broun and Michelle Aherne. Working on different brands across offices in both London and Leicester, the ladies don’t get much opportunity to get together, but when they do, the conversation is always sparkling.
“The last time it happened we were delayed on our return flight from one of the watch fairs for nearly five hours,” remembers Soteri. “After the intensity of the trip and very little sleep at the end of a long week, we were still laughing and chatting. There aren’t that many teams who can work that way together.”
The past year has been a milestone for Aurum, with Soteri, who has been with the company for 11 years, describing it as “exponential”. Aherne adds: “As a company we have changed phenomenally over the years and we are a different business to what we were in 2008 when the original values were set. We needed to readdress our vision and values, to update and evolve them as to where we are today and what we expect going forward.”
Readdressing the vision has included opening a Rolex monobrand store in Heathrow Terminal 5 at Christmas, launching Tudor in September and the grand opening of the Watches of Switzerland boutique at 155 Regent Street, one of the largest luxury watch stores in Europe.
While good locations are essential, and Aurum certainly has a few spectacular ones now, the key to really enchanting shoppers is to build up an incredible offering of watches, and that is exactly what the buying team brings to the business, and increasingly this is becoming as much of a science as it is an art.
“We are getting quite forensic with our analysis,” says Broun. It’s all about understanding the ranges – what works, what doesn’t. It becomes really easy to understand when analysed correctly.”
This strategy has helped improve market share, sales and margins, but at the end of the day, Broun says what this all really boils down to is the experience – “there’s more to it than simply numbers, our overall objectives include amazing our customers”. And this dynamic trio certainly seem to be doing just that.