'Brexit hasn't hit Plymouth retail yet', says Michael Spiers boss
CONFIDENCE: Michael Spiers MD Keith White says Brexit has not hurt retail
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has not dented consumer spending in Plymouth, says the boss of one of the city’s leading retailers.
Keith White (below right with co-director Adam Spiers), managing director of luxury jeweller Michael Spiers, said the business has seen no untoward changes in spending power following June’s Brexit vote.
And he is backed by national statistics which showed retail sales recovered a month after the referendum.
“Looking at the future, I’m very optimistic about post-Brexit and the retail environment, and noticed no changes in people’s spending power other than seasonal weather patterns,” Mr White said.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed UK sales rose by 1.4 per cent in July 2016, following a 0.9 per cent drop in June.
The rebound was stronger than the 0.2 per cent hike predicted by economists in a Reuters poll.
It comes as retail industry reports also recorded solid growth in consumer spending in July, with some commentators saying it is evidence that the Brexit decision has had a limited impact on the UK economy.
“I think the UK will have a bright future out of the EU, and the ever-changing retail sector is very exciting at the moment,” Mr White (above) said.
Mr White joined the family firm in 1966, and says he’s in the “happy occasions business”, and at the age of 76 is still leading from the top, enjoying his job with no intentions of retiring.
“High streets are changing and more people than ever are buying online,” he said. “We pride ourselves in the personal services we provide at our four stores with a team of 60 staff.
“We have invested over £2million in refitting our shops, and personal service is the key, and some of the bigger retailers need to get back to basics with customer service delivery.”
Michael Spiers also manufactures tailor-made jewellery in the city for customers across the UK – and the globe.
A team of three specialists create some of the finest handmade designs with gems and diamonds starting from £100 and running to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“We pride ourselves on offering a luxury service, and buy some of the finest diamonds and gem stones to create jewellery that is handmade and designed by our craftsmen in the city,” Mr White said.
“We sketch, wax, design, and create tailor-made jewellery from beginning to end, and our unique pieces of art are collectable time pieces.
“We are represented on the World Diamond Council, and buy all the most prestigious brands of watches, and, in my opinion, are the UK’s top supplier with a celebrity list of customers, including Lord Sugar.”
Mr White also believes in giving back to communities, sport and education.
“Our company has raised over £1.5million to aid local charities, especially St Luke’s Hospice,” he said.
(Publicity generated by Dorcas Media)