Michael Laing OBE, chairman of Laing Edinburgh, Scotland’s oldest family jeweller, is preparing to fulfil a lifelong dream as one of his stores moves to a prime location on the capital city’s exclusive George Street.
Laing Edinburgh, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, has agreed terms to move into the corner site at 72 George Street, formerly occupied by Barclays Bank, and is investing £1.3million in the fit-out and design of the new premises.
Work on the refurbishment of Laing Edinburgh’s new premises will commence in August, with the Company due to relocate from its store at 29 Frederick Street to this new flagship showroom on George Street.
The second Laing Edinburgh showroom at 25 Frederick Street – which offers luxury brands including Omega, Longines and Chopard – will remain in its current location following the move.
Michael Laing OBE, chairman and owner of Laing the Jeweller Ltd, launched the existing diamond and luxury watch store at 29 Frederick Street back in 1978. Commenting on the move, he said…
“Opening our new flagship showroom on the corner of George Street and Frederick Street is the fulfilment of a dream. “This property is the perfect setting for us. We have been looking for the right location for Laing on George Street for many years now, but suitable properties don’t often come onto the market.
“Most of the Georgian buildings have narrow shop fronts, while we needed a property with more presence, greater window space to display our luxury brands and diamond collections and give our customers more opportunity to browse. We are the specialist Edinburgh retailers of brands including Rolex, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Breitling, TAG Heuer and Panerai amongst others with acknowledged expertise in diamonds and design.
“This is one of the most significant corner sites in the city – we see huge potential for this property as it’s very much a blank canvas at the moment. It also gives us the opportunity to bring back some of the Georgian grandeur that you would expect in a World Heritage Site.”
“This isn’t just a step forward for Laing Edinburgh but also for the city. We are opening a luxury store in a key location that will appeal to both international visitors and local customers, reinforcing Edinburgh’s reputation as a leading shopping destination.
“We are making a significant investment in the new store and our collections. At the heart of our business is a focus on delivering exceptional customer service, our foundations are based on our history and generations of expertise. However, we’re a business that continually looks forward, we have a dynamic and innovative culture and our new store better reflects where we want to be.”
The George Street property offers significantly larger space than is currently available at Laing Edinburgh’s Frederick Street store. Laing Edinburgh commissioned Eric Young & Co, who have steered the property deal, alongside leading designers Skakel & Skakel.
The new luxury showroom will be designed to the highest specification with state-of-the-art technology blended with sumptuous interiors based on a neutral palette of mink and soft cream. Two spacious floors will be connected by an elegant, sweeping cast iron and glass staircase with contemporary details and textiles throughout the building.
“As well as home to our highly-trained sales consultants, our new premises will house our workshops with our team of craftsmen and specialist designers as well as our thriving service department, which caters to the city’s consistent demand for jewellery and watch repairs.”
In addition to its two branches in Edinburgh, the Laing family also owns two stores under the established and highly regarded Parkhouse brand, one in Cardiff in Wales and one in Southampton, Hampshire.
In conclusion, Michael said:
“We are currently looking at expansion possibilities throughout the UK, as well as expanding our digital store presence.”