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Background

Founded in Nottingham in 1979 by Paul and Margaret Mortimer, Chapelle Jewellery grew organically under the Mortimers’ management. With an initial focus on supermarket concessions, the business changed its strategy in the late 1990s to establish its own stores in designer outlet centres. By the late 2000s, the Mortimer family had established Chapelle Jewellery as the largest retail jeweller operating in the UK outlet sector.

By 2014, the Mortimers were approaching retirement and appointed a corporate financier to identify a suitable buyer to take the business forward.

Chapelle Logo
Chapelle Image

Hilco Capital’s role

  • Acquired the business in 2015
  • Undertook range review, reducing working capital tied up in slow moving stock
  • Implemented new store layouts and visual merchandising plan
  • Reviewed and renegotiated supplier terms
  • Implemented new EPOS system, allowing more sophisticated stock purchasing controls
  • Renegotiated store leases to reduce property costs
  • Conducted review of all P&L expenses and identified cost saving initiatives in stores and head office
  • Additional bottom-up cost review process to further increase forecast cost savings

 


Results

  • Smooth transfer of the business from founders to new team over 12 month handover period
  • Recruited new CEO, senior management team and buying team
  • Expanded store portfolio with two new concessions
  • Improved branding
  • Store estate refreshed with updated fascia signage and shop fits
  • Replatformed website and refocused digital marketing
  • Acquired and integrated Watch Warehouse business
  • Redeveloped and relaunched Watch Warehouse online
  • Profitable business, well placed for growth through further bolt-on acquisitions
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