Well-known stores set for makeover
Well-known Hamilton stores Marks & Spencer and The English Sports Shop are in line for a makeover.
David Hamshere, managing director of Tess Ltd, which includes the shops in its portfolio, said that the M&S store would be first to get a new look.
He added that changes to the ground floor of Front Street institution were still at the planning and feasibility stage, but the company was examining options.
Mr Hamshere said: “We're in the process of planning a total refurbishment of the ground floor of the store.
“That's part of a feasibility study that's going on right now in terms of cost. We've done it with Lusso, the business next door, and it's worked very well, so we have a model to work with.
“It's on the drawing board — it won't happen tomorrow.”
But he said the M&S store would be first to get a new look as the company, which also includes Front Street's Boutique Cecile and Jeans Express on Queen Street, strives to meet customer demand.
Mr Hamshere said that the America's Cup World Series races in October was “terrific” for business.
He added: “That shows what can be done if we get the visitors here.”
But Mr Hamshere said that Bermuda stores relied primarily on domestic customers — and that more people were needed on the Island to boost sales.
He explained: “There is no new purchasing until you see a wave of new people from new businesses buying.”
Mr Hamshere added he had been out on the sales floor of The English Sports Shop himself to get a hands-on feel for the festive season trade and what was selling.
He said: “Christmas is an opportunity for us and that's what we've been working at.
“Christmas business is trotting along very nicely, but to say we are firing on all cylinders would be an exaggeration.”
Mr Hamshere added that expanding store floor space in the current economic climate did not make sense.
He said: “We have enough space that's managing to do our business quite well.
And he added that “trying to expand in a market which is not the best of times like we have had in the past” did not make good business sense.