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£1.3m showroom planned

Jeweller Laing acquires ‘dream’ premises for expansion

Michael LaingLuxury jeweller Laing is acquiring a prime location in Edinburgh’s exclusive George Street, fulfilling a lifelong dream of chairman Michael Laing.

Scotland’s oldest family jeweller, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary, will take a corner unit, formerly occupied by Barclays Bank, and is investing £1.3 million in the fit-out and design of the premises. The current showroom in Frederick Street will be retained.

“Opening our new flagship showroom on the corner of George Street and Frederick Street is the fulfilment of a dream,” said Mr Laing.

“This property is the perfect setting for us. We have been looking for the right location for Laing on George Street for many years now, but suitable properties don’t often come onto the market.

“Most of the Georgian buildings have narrow shop fronts, while we needed a property with more presence, greater window space to display our luxury brands and diamond collections and give our customers more opportunity to browse.

“This is one of the most significant corner sites in the city – we see huge potential for this property as it’s very much a blank canvas at the moment. It also gives us the opportunity to bring back some of the Georgian grandeur that you would expect in a World Heritage Site.”

Richard Laing Michael LaingLaing’s last reported figures, for 2013, showed a 42% increase in profit, which broke through £1 million. The growth of the business has continued, predominately driven by watch and diamond sales. A new e-commerce website was launched last year and there has been a continued investment in people, training and IT.

Mr Laing, who said the firm was on the lookout for further expansion, said the move into George Street is also a big step forward for the city. “We are opening a luxury store in a key location that will appeal to both international visitors and local customers, reinforcing Edinburgh’s reputation as a leading shopping destination,” he said.

The George Street property offers significantly larger space than is currently available at Laing Edinburgh’s Frederick Street store. Laing Edinburgh commissioned Eric Young & Co, which has steered the deal, alongside leading designers Skakel & Skakel.

Two floors of the new showroom will be connected by a sweeping cast iron and glass staircase with contemporary details and textiles throughout the building.

Mr Laing said: “As well as home to our highly-trained sales consultants, our new premises will house our workshops with our team of craftsmen and specialist designers as well as our thriving service department, which caters to the city’s consistent demand for jewellery and watch repairs.”

In addition to its two branches in Edinburgh, the Laing family also owns two stores under the Parkhouse brand, one in Cardiff and another in Southampton.

Main photo: Director Richard Laing, left, and Michael Laing

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