Expanding jeweller moves into Fruit Market premises

Hugh Rice
David Donkin, Mike Rice, James Rice, John Gouldthorp at the new Hugh Rice offices

Family-run jeweller Hugh Rice has moved from Hull city centre into new offices in the Fruit Market quarter.

The new offices are home to Hugh Rice’s Central Support Unit, which backs up the company’s retail operations. It accommodates the Directors’ suite, human resources, operations, finance, buying, stock control and marketing functions, and is home to 28 staff.

Founded in 1965 by Hugh Rice, who opened the company’s first store in Hull’s George Street in 1971, the business has grown strongly, expanding from Hull and Beverley throughout Yorkshire and into the North East. The business now employs 350 people across 16 outlets, with most of its staff based in the stores.

Chairman Mike Rice said the company’s new home was an integral part of its growth strategy and five-year plan set out in 2015, with sights now firmly set on the next phase.

He said: “We’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed successes over the past four years and our plan has been a fantastic guide for us.

“We’ve just launched an updated strategy to take us through to 2022, which is more reflective of the current economic climate and will allow every department to head in the same direction and achieve our goals.

“Not only does the new office provide the space to grow into, which our previous premises lacked, it has also been designed to encourage us to work more effectively as one team, with communication between departments made much easier, helping us achieve our goals and grow the business in the future.

“We’re incredibly proud to invest in our home city of Hull. We’ve always been a city centre business and we were very keen to stay central, as opposed to moving to an out-of-town development.”

The business has worked closely with Wykeland Group, one of Yorkshire and the Humber’s leading commercial developers, on its new 6,000 sq ft premises. Hugh Rice bought the building from Wykeland and the two companies worked in partnership on its redevelopment.

James Rice, Sales and Marketing Director at Hugh Rice, said:“We’re a Hull company and Hull is a maritime city, so a headquarters on the waterfront was the perfect choice for us. The location is beautiful, with incredible views and a vibrant local cultural scene, full of thriving independent businesses and restaurants.”

David Donkin, Wykeland Property Director, said: “The Hugh Rice management team was attracted to the Fruit Market in part by the appeal of becoming part of a thriving community. In turn, their presence will support the continuing growth of local, independent and creative businesses that are benefiting from the growing presence of leading employers in the area.”

Chameleon Business Interiors, which is also based on Hull’s waterfront, delivered the fit-out of the offices, to create a modern and sophisticated working environment,