The jewel of the Lakeside crown!

Monday 9th August 2021

We’re proud of all our stores and staff here at Lakeside Village but none more so than our lovely Ernest Jones Outlet team. The store was the very first Ernest Jones Outlet to open in the UK back in 2015, and since then has gone from strength-to-strength to become a beacon for the Outlet business across the company.
Branch manager, Richard Stevenson, who has been at the store for the last three years, has a 43-year career as a jeweller, all with Signet Jewelers which includes both Ernest Jones and H. Samuel. Here, he tells us more about his personal expertise but also the secret to his team’s success.
I began my jewellery career back in 1978 with Signet as a Christmas temp in the northeast of England. But I took to it straight away and really enjoyed the work so from there I worked my way up with the company and became an assistant store manager and branch store manager. In 1990, I was promoted to district manager where I had responsibility for approximately 30 stores in the Doncaster region and that is when I first moved to this area.
I stayed in that job for 20 years but I realised I was sorely missing the customer interaction side of the job so decided to take a step back and become a branch manager again. I moved to the Lakeside Village Ernest Jones outlet store in 2018 to develop the business here and grow things to the next level and we haven’t really looked back since!
I have a fabulous team and we are always looking at ways to do things better and provide the best possible customer experience as we can. We are all so proud of how we have grown the business over the last three years and of our reputation for leading from the front when it comes to driving the Outlet business – this is the icing on the cake!
We are also proud of being an outlet store and have really harnessed what that means and who our customers are. Our shoppers want a bargain and that’s what we give them. But we do it in a fun and friendly way and I think if I had to boil it down that is what the secret to our success is
Some of our customers are our friends now and we have built great rapport and relationships with them. They know when they come to use that they will come get real jewellery expertise, high quality pieces at a fantastic price and also with a laugh and joke along the way.
We have customers who come back time and time again and that’s because we make our customers feel happy and provide a comfortable environment for them to shop.
As a company, Ernest Jones has a fantastic training programme for all its team members so we have amazing product knowledge and are really passionate about what we do. Personally, I’ve had training with all the leading watch manufacturers, I have certificates in diamond training and on all elements of the jewellery trade with the National Association of Goldsmiths. And then on top of that is the on-the-job training which is invaluable. The knowledge and expertise I have built up over 43 years counts for a great deal and I really enjoy passing that on to my team and customers.
But working with a smile on our face is what makes the biggest difference, and we have them in abundance in our store because we all love what we do!