Jewellery group Aurum has outlined plans to invest in its staff and rebrand its Mappin & Webb fascia after completing financial restructuring.
Justin Stead, chief executive of the group, which also runs Goldsmiths and Watches of Switzerland, said that Mappin & Webb is a key focus.
“The brand has been neglected to a certain degree,” he said. “We also have a moral responsibility because it is a magnificent British brand with great DNA.” Mappin & Webb will adopt a new fascia and be called Mappin & Webb London.
“In the second quarter of next year we will open a new look store in Manchester, then look at the rest of the portfolio and see where we need to upgrade other stores,” he said.
Aurum also plans to increase training and run a new executive development programme.
The retailer - formerly backed by Baugur - completed refinancing last week when £42m of banker Landsbanki’s debt was converted to equity. Management, including chairman Don McCarthy, now own 33% of the business and institutional investors the rest.
Stead said: “We are feeling quite robust. We think we are the best prepared we have ever been for Christmas.” He said that this festive season Aurum would run a “very different race and won’t discount on price”.
In the year to February 1, EBITDA fell from £13m to £8m, primarily because of promotions activity and the harsh conditions last Christmas.