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Thomas Jewellers has announced it will shut up shop in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall
Thomas Jewellers has announced it will shut up shop in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall

Thomas Jewellers closes high-profile Melbourne store

Jewellery retail chain Thomas Jewellers has announced the closure of its high-profile store located at the Royal Arcade building in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall.

According to a company statement, the decision to cease operations at the retailer’s only metropolitan location, which has been trading for 30 years, is part of a business overhaul and renewed focus on regional stores.

“Since establishing in Ballarat in 1896, the Thomas brand has expanded to key regional locations, including Bendigo, Shepparton and Albury,” the statement read. 

“With regional Australia the core of their brand DNA, the move to refocus on their country stores coincides with an upcoming rebrand rollout, including fresh store designs.”

According to The Australian, Thomas Jewellers holds a 30 per cent stake in the Royal Arcade building, and the statement confirmed that a new tenant for the “prime position” retail space would be unveiled in 2018.

The news comes hot on the heels of an announcement that Pandora had secured a lease deal for a six-level building in the Bourke Street Mall. Annual rent is believed to be about $1 million.

Fresh traditions

The Thomas Jewellers statement added that the members of the family-run business were looking forward to “reconnecting with their country heritage” and were already trialing a new store concept in Warrnambool, Victoria.

While its current website remains in operation, a new website has been created that announced the redesign of the Warrnambool store and also noted that the business had been renamed ‘Thomas’ – dropping ‘Jewellers’ – and would be a “world class jewellery store that’s cutting edge in every detail”.

James Thomas founded Thomas Jewellers in 1896 in Ballarat, Victoria. The Royal Arcade store opened in 1987 and has been described by the business as a “significant milestone”.

Thomas’ grandson Jim and his great grandsons Jamie, Jeremy and Sam currently head the jewellery chain, with stores operating in Wagga, Albury, Shepparton, Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool.

The Thomas Jewellers group also owns diamond retail business Diamond Exchange and iconic Melbourne jewellery retailer Paul Bram.

The new store design in Warrnambool, Victoria
The new store design in Warrnambool, Victoria

More reading
Pandora jewellery moves into Bourke Street Mall
Diamond Exchange website goes live again

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Saturday, 18 January, 2020 06:18am
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