Fylde coast jewellers Beaverbrooks is celebrating its 95th year as a family business.
And chairman Mark Adlestone says the company has had a strong year and is optimistic as it sees the UK economy climb out of recession.
The firm is marking the anniversary with a launch of two new ranges for its 65 UK stores, which employ 850 people.
Beaverbrooks began when the three Adlestone brothers, Issac, Maurice and Harry opened the then ‘Adlestones’ jewellery shop in Belfast in 1919 ,before changing its name in honour of Lord Beaverbrook and moving the HQ to St Annes.
This yea,r they have launched the 1919 collection, put together by their own designers, which has a modern take on vintage style, and its Beaverbrooks Era range, which revives some of the jewellers’ best-sellers over the past 95 years.
Mark said: “This has been a very strong year for us after five difficult years for people in the retail business.
“People in the recession cut back on luxuries. It was a double whammy, becasue there was a rise in the price of gold , if you remember, people were all selling their old gold and, with the price hitting $1,900, our raw materials costs rocketed.
“Things are cyclical and, in August last year, we started noticing the improvement in the economy.
“We are actually very optimistic at the moment. Customer confidence is strong and, although there may be more to come with austerity measures, people have adjusted somehow.
“For the coming year we are focussing on developing our ranges and developing our point of difference from other jewellers.
“We are conscious not to alienate our customers, however.”
He said the company held a staff celebration at Tiggis, in St Annes, with 150 colleagues and some old faces emphasising the family feeling within Beaverbrooks.
“I am third generation, my father, Gerald, still takes an interest.
“We have been in the Top 100 Companies to work for in the Times for six years .
“It is important to have an engaged workforce. They feel they have a stake in the company and it shows when they deal with the customers.”