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Shiels is expanding, with six new stores in Queensland
Shiels is expanding, with six new stores in Queensland
 









 

Shiels Jewellers’ bold move into Queensland

Shiels Jewellers will open six new stores around Brisbane in the coming months, including refitting and rebranding two recently acquired Kings stores.
A fixture in Western Australia and South Australia, Shiels Jewellers will add to its 33 stores with a raft of new outlets to open in Queensland before the end of the year.

Transworld Enterprises’ operates two retail chains, Shiels and Grahams, and director Toby Bensimon told Jeweller the company recently acquired the business of Kings Jewellers at Garden City and Chermside. They are being refitted and rebranded as Shiels Jewellers while the other four stores, in Carindale, Logan, Ommaney and North Lakes, will be new locations as part of the company’s expansion into Queensland. .

Bensimon said the deal with Kings Jewellers and the new store acquisitions had already been finalised and Shiels was ready to begin moving in.

“We committed to Queensland before [the Kings] deal was ever mooted,” Bensimon said. “We’ve been looking at Queensland expansion and planning for it for 18 months. It’s done. We’re actually opening our first store in three weeks, then one every couple of weeks after that.”

Bensimon said the Queensland expansion made sense for Shiels because of the similarities in the Queensland jewellery markets with South Australia and Western Australian.

“There was a lot of background figure crunching to work out if it was viable for us,” Bensimon explained. “We picked that state because we saw it as very similar to the markets we’re used to, the jewellery tastes of Queenslanders are very similar to WA and SA.”

Kings Jewellers managing director Rick Jobson said he was selling the King Jewellers brand to Shiels as he intended to focus more directly on his other brand, Anthonys Fine Jewellery.

Jobson said Kings and Anthony’s had always serviced different markets, with Kings aiming more at the middle market while Anthonys was targeted at a more up-market clientele.

Toby Bensimon, director, Shiels Jewellers
Toby Bensimon, director, Shiels Jewellers

“I had the two brands and they were going very strongly and I was happy with them, they were both non discount and quality jewellers, but my second tier was Kings,” Jobson said. “The Kings stores for me were a bit middle-ground. I don’t want to turn into a discounter, I don’t want to run that sort of brand, and I am concentrating on Anthonys, so he [Bensimon] said let’s have a look at it. He wanted staff and I had great staff, and it ended up a pretty low-key transaction.”

The expansion may raise a few eyebrows in the industry in an economic climate that has proved unforgiving for retailers. Bensimon, however, believes Shiels is making the right arrangements to prepare for an eventual upturn in business. He said Shiels was ready for hard times initially though.

“Now is the best time to expand,” Bensimon said. “You can get great offices and locations, everyone is desperate to do a deal. “Everybody who purchases in a tough economy gets a good deal; it’s just a question of whether you can make money out of it. We expect it to be really tough for the next year or so, but all rough periods end eventually, so we’ll just hold our breath.”

Bensimon had previously expressed an interest in purchasing The Jewellery Group (TJG) late last year, however TJG, which at the time incorporated 102 Zamels stores and 27 Mazuchelli stores, was sold to M Suresh.

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