Time for expansion

Watches of Switzerland is set to more than double the size of its store in Birmingham’s New Street.

The retailer has been selling upmarket Swiss timepieces from its 1,572 sq ft store at 124 New Street since 1995.

It has now exchanged contracts to acquire the neighbouring 2,623 sq ft 122 New Street to create a new state of the art showroom.

Aurum Group (Watches of Switzerland) has taken a ten-year lease on the combined premises at an annual rent of £372,500. The landlord is Hortons’ Estate.

122 New Street is currently occupied by Gordon Scott. Parent company A Jones & Sons Plc is surrendering the lease, which was due to expire at the end of 2015. It operates a Jones Bootmaker store in the Bullring.

Steve Tommy, commercial surveyor at Hortons’ Estate, said:

New Street’s retail scene is undeniably benefiting from the station upgrade and imminent arrival of John Lewis and Metro. “Retailers have seen a dramatic increase in footfall and we have noticed a marked increase in enquiries for space in the area.

In addition to 122 and 124 New Street, Hortons’ owns 128 New Street, the Burlington Hotel which incorporates retail units on New Street, Stephenson Street and Lower Temple Street and Piccadilly Arcade.

Watches of Switzerland, founded in 1924, has 15 showrooms around the UK and is an authorised dealer for more Swiss brands than any other retailer. As well as selling timepieces such as Rolex, Raymond Weil, Omega and Breitling, the stores provide servicing, engraving and valuation advice.