Following yesterday’s news that independent jeweller Wakefields is to join the Houlden Group, Retail Jeweller caught up with owners Dominic and Melanie Wakefield about their reasons for moving to the group.
Formerly a retail member of the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) for the past 28 years, there were some who expressed shock at yesterday’s news of Wakefield’s decision to leave the organisation in favour of the Houlden Group, effective April 1.
However, speaking to Retail Jeweller yesterday both Dominic and Melanie Wakefield were keen to convey just how happy they were in the CMJ and say they have made the move to Houlden purely for business reasons, which have occurred as the retailer has shifted its offer to focus more on fine and diamond jewellery and Swiss watch brands.
Dominic said: “With a new focus on bridal, fine jewellery and watches, we’ve reduced our silver brand offering. We’ve found ourselves in a position where our brand portfolio has aligned with the Houlden buying group, and believe that for us personally as a business, joining Houlden will present us with new networking opportunities that will continue to allow us to forge our path in our next chapter.”
While Melanie added: “We both feel that the friends we’ve made on our journey with the CMJ will transcend our decision to leave. The support we’ve received over the years has been truly invaluable, and we will always stay in touch.”
Already an agent for luxury Swiss watch brand, Rolex, the move to Houlden would seem like a natural fit for Wakefields, which also sells jewellery from a number of fine and bridal brands including Fred Ullman, Hans Kreiger and Brown & Newirth.
“We would like to thank all of those who have been involved with the CMJ over the past 28 years and wish everyone involved in the organisation all the very best for the future,” added Dominic.