High Rice is close to completing the refurbishment of its boutique in Beverley, East Yorkshire.
The independent retailer now has four stores: its largest is in the St Stephens shopping centre in Hull; there is a two-storey unit in Harrogate, the newly refurbished Hugh Rice in Beverley and its first LUXE by Hugh Rice outlet, also in Beverley.
There will be at least three more stores opening before 2020 under the Hugh Rice and LUXE by Hugh Rice name, according to managing director Paul Rice. These are in addition to 10 Pandora stores that the company operates.
Shop fitting contractors were still applying the finishing touches to the Hugh Rice boutique in Beverley when WatchPro visited this week, but the store is fully open ahead of the key Christmas trading period.
Hugh Rice uses local tradesmen for the work, but has consistently turned to Innovare Design, a London-based retail designer, for the creative vision for its stores including the LUXE by Hugh Rice concept.
Hugh Rice aims to operate under two distinct retail brands: Hugh Rice and LUXE by Hugh Rice. The LUXE stores will carry more fashion and lifestyle watch brands such as Olivia Burton, Michael Kors and Hugo Boss.
The higher end Hugh Rice stores stock TAG Heuer, Omega, Breitling and Tudor among a broad portfolio of Swiss-made watch brands.
In the company’s largest outlet, located in the St Stephens shopping centre in Hull, a double-fronted retail unit offers fine watches and jewellery in one half of the store, with fashion and lifestyle in the other half.
This is the model that Paul Rice says he would like to replicate for future stores, where he is able to secure the right units in the right locations.
Hugh Rice is a finalist in the Independent Lifestyle Watch Retailer of the Year category in the WatchPro Awards, which take place on October 26.