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HOT 100 RETAIL TITAN: Simon Walton, MD, Berrys


It has been a huge year for Patek Philippe as the brand celebrated its 175th anniversary in style, culminating in a very high-profile exhibition in London’s Saatchi Gallery. And right there enjoying the ride was proud partner Berry’s, which recently convinced the historic watch brand to move back to York, and was more than happy to offer its Stonegate store as a vehicle to do so.

“With Patek Philippe’s presence and a whole new refit, the new team in Berry’s York has gone from strength to strength and is reaching sales figures we had only dreamt about previously,” says Walton. “This has contributed to our overall aim to grow our business in York and add to our luxury watch selection across our company. We have built up a wonderful relationship with Patek Philippe and we now have six stores representing the brand in the north of England and Windsor.”

Working closely with the brands Berry’s represents is important to Walton, and as well as constant training for staff, the stores collaborate on special brand events. One particularly successful one in the past year was with Bremont.

“We held a dinner in conjunction with Bremont at the fabulous Bowcliffe Hall, previously home to Robert Blackburn who is an aviator owning a large aeroplane manufacturing business in Leeds,” recalls Walton. “The current owner has built a tree-house style venue in the shape of an aeroplane wing, a perfect setting for the launch of Bremont’s new Wright Flyer watch. The owner of the venue’s daughter attended, and with speeches from Giles English it was a fabulous evening, leading to many sales of both the new Wright Flyer watch and other Bremont models.”

Walton describes his life as “a constant juggle between work, family and charity commitments” and one of his recent charitable ventures included his son. Along with five other boys they cycled the Leeds-Liverpool canal, raising £14,000 for Cancer Research UK and winning Walton Jnr the title of Northern Young Fundraiser of the year. It would seem that a drive to succeed runs in the family.



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