A UK jewellery manufacturer, which has traditionally supplied UK High Street jewellers, is in a strong position for future growth after the launch of a UK industry first ‘Concierge’ service during lockdown transformed its business.
Brown & Newirth Ltd has secured a £650k Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) facility from Virgin Money to support its growth strategy, accelerating plans to increase its brand footprint with further boutique installations. It’s also overhauling its digital offering, incorporating Concierge as the company look’s to cultivate and nurture the consumer relationship.
With shops closed during lockdown, the business found alternative ways to access its customers and continue delivering the high-quality bespoke service it is renowned for. The team went live with its Concierge service, a try-before-you buy initiative where the business creates a perfect silver and crystal sample of the selected jewellery designs. The item is then posted out to the customer, where they can review the product in the comfort of their own home, before committing to the purchase. Adapting to this new and continuing shift in consumer behaviour was vital for the business which safeguarded jobs of its highly skilled workforce in the UK.
John Ball, Managing Director at Brown and Newirth, said: “This is a first in our industry, so delivering Concierge to market was a risk, however, the consumer demand has surpassed expectations. We’ve found a way to bring that digital experience to customers who still want that High Street service and experience.”
The team has also developed a new customer-facing website and enhanced the consumer digital experience as it predicts an uptick in business as restrictions lift, having already seeing activity rise back to pre-Covid levels. The RLS funding is a government-backed initiative designed to help businesses grow and recover following the Covid pandemic.
John added: “Around 150,000 weddings were cancelled in 2020, so that business will come back over the next two and a half years, as well as demand for other celebrations that people have missed out on. We are already seeing an increase in demand across our product portfolio, which is really encouraging.
“We are grateful for the support that Virgin Money has given us – it has been nothing short of fantastic. The team has been very supportive and helped us through this period, giving us the headroom we needed to adapt and grow our business.”
Brown & Newirth has a head office in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and a manufacturing base in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
Pete Sumners, Director, Corporate and Structured Finance, at Virgin Money, said: “Throughout the last 18 months, we have been working with businesses to support them through these challenging times but also take advantage of opportunities that are out there. Brown & Newirth was quickly able to pivot the business, going direct to the consumer, ensuring its well-known service proposition continued, even when the High Street was shut. The team is now in a strong position with the RLS funding in place to increase its market share and step up its growth aspirations as we come out of the pandemic.”