New look for Goldsmiths as store growth hots up

Goldsmiths is accelerating its store opening programme after years of consolidation, and plans to launch a new-look fascia next month.

The proposals were revealed as Goldsmiths completes a deal with Icelandic investor Baugur, which is buying the jewellery business for£110 million in partnership with management.

Goldsmiths deputy managing director Jim West said the retailer was 'beginning to ramp up' its opening programme', with 'an additional eight or nine' shops this year.

Last year, the 165-store group opened three stores, at East Kilbride, the Bullring and a second at Manchester's Trafford Centre. Only one shop was opened in 2002.

West said the new identity would be revealed in mid-June. The change is understood to be part of a strategy to appeal to younger customers and will be introduced to all newly opened, and about six refurbished, stores this year.

West said many of the shops opened this year will be second stores in particular locations, including Thurrock and MetroCentre. As a result, some locations would have both a traditional Goldsmiths outlet and a revamped shop. 'These are becoming powerful centres in terms of the density of shoppers,' explained West. He said last year's second opening at the Trafford Centre had not cannibalised sales.

The search is on for a new merchandise director to replace Sue Scanlan, who has left after joining only last year. Goldsmiths is also hunting for a managing director to take operational control from Jurek Piasecki, who will focus on strategy.