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Retailer begins million-pound stores expansion: ‘Now feels the right time to underline our commitment to the town’

JEWELLERY business Michael Jones Jeweller has begun a seven-figure expansion and refit programme at its two stores in Northampton.

The company is revamping its outlets in Grosvenor Shopping Northampton and Gold Street as part of an ambitious project to create a luxurious new look for customers.

The independent jeweller, which is run as a co-operative, has had a presence in the town for more than 100 years and will be extending into the former Burton’s unit in the shopping centre, premises it previously occupied in the 1970s. Its flagship Gold Street store is to extend into a former hairdresser’s next door.

The works will coincide with the multi-million-pound redevelopment of Market Square, which Michael Jones believes will inspire a bright new era for the town centre.

Branch manager Thomas Sinclair said: “For 100 years, Northampton has been our home and now feels the right time to underline our commitment to the town and invest in our stores.”

The aim is to create an “unforgettable” retail experience for customers, he added.

“Retail in the 21st century has to be an experience if it is to compete with online sellers. We want our customers to sit down in a lounge area with a glass of champagne while choosing their wedding rings. We want them to select a luxury watch in a room that is suitable for such an occasion. That is something you simply cannot replicate on the internet.”

Michael Jones Jeweller’s decision to invest has been welcomed by the Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District. BID operations manager Mark Mullen pictured said: “It is good to see such a prominent retailer reaffirming their faith in Northampton’s retail offer and investing in their premises. We are looking forward to seeing the new stores and the impact this has on attracting more shoppers into our town centre.”

The store in Grosvenor Shopping Northampton will see Michael Jones extend back into a property in which it was based when the centre first opened. It will feature a new upstairs area with a private consultation room and a staff training area. The new stores will feature a number of concessions, with dedicated areas for major watch brands including Longines, Bremont and Tissot. Jewellery suppliers such as Brown and Newirth, FOPE, Clogau and Ti Sento will have fully branded counters alongside existing brands including Gucci, Baume and Mercier, and Raymond Weil.

“The work to revamp the Market Square feels like a once in a generation opportunity to get Northampton back on track,” said Mr Sinclair. “We love the town but it is fair to say it is something of a rough diamond right now. We want to play our part in polishing it up and giving it a chance to shine.”


Grosvenor Shopping Northampton has new owners after acquisition

REAL estate company Evolve Estates has continued its expansion programme with the acquisition of Grosvenor Shopping Northampton.

The company, part of the M Core group, has completed the purchase of  the centre from L&G for an undisclosed sum. Grosvenor Shopping Northampton houses just under 320,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and events space anchored by Primark, Boots and Next.

Evolve Estates partner Joe O’Keefe said the company was delighted to have completed the deal in “an incredibly challenging market”. Evolve remains committed to investing in the retail sector, he added.

The company was attracted to Northampton because of the development projects already under way in Northampton town centre, including Market Square, Greyfriars and the Abington Quarter.

“These will provide significant opportunities for us and the town to grow and fulfil its potential,” said Mr O’Keefe. “This is one of the largest retail centres to come under our ownership and we are excited to get to work. It is also rare to find a scheme like this, with so many positive projects going on in and around it.”

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