Managing director of Norwich jeweller Winsor Bishop said a £500,000 expansion which saw its London Street shop double in size last year had exceeded her targets.

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EDP Future 50 member Sophie Fulford said that while trading had been tough and margins had changed, the company and its customer base had grown.

She said: “We have seen an increase in the number of customers coming to the shop, which is what the expansion was all about. We can see which areas are commercial for us, and which ones are not.

“People’s buying habits have changed and they are investing a lot more in brands. They are looking for names they trust. People are very comfortable investing money in that.”

She said that while there were far more customers, they were taking more time to decide to buy.

“People are taking a lot of time to consider,” she added. “Spontaneity is not there so much, but it has not affected our figures.”

But while the company has seen turnover growth, she said that margins had changed and the business was not as profitable.

She said: “It is a reality we have got to face. We have to adapt to the market. The idea is that if you are competitive, strongly competitive in key areas, you are going to be able to turn your stock much faster.”

Mrs Fulford said Winsor Bishop, which was listed in the industry Professional Jeweller Hot 100, would turn over £6.3m at the year end, up from £5.7m last year.

The group also opened a shop in Chapelfield Shopping Centre selling the Pandora jewellery brand in 2010 and Mrs Fulford said it had seen “exceptional” growth. The Pandora business is expected to turn over £3.3m at the year end.

“Chapelfield is an amazing location,” she said. “The store we have is key.”

Mrs Fulford also said the business was seeing an increase in inter-national customers, particularly Chinese and as a result all staff had been given training in their customs and culture. “We feel it is something that is really important,” she added.

annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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