The power of the UK jewellery sector, and the strength of the Watches of Switzerland (WoS) Group in particular, shines through in York.
The business, which performed well both during the pandemic and afterwards, is planning to take over much of the former Debenhams store site in the the centre of the historic Yorkshire city to create a 6,727 sq ft Mappin & Webb flagship
WoS has applied to City of York Council to refurbish and redesign part of the former department store which has remained vacant in Davygate since December 2019.
The planning application, seen by the city’s newspaper Gazette & Herald, said: “The desired intent is to elevate this store to fully showcase the [Mappin & Webb] brand and to significantly enhance this part of Davygate. In doing so it will be aligned with York’s City Council’s policy of promoting and maintaining Davygate as a world class retail destination”.
The plan is to create “a unified storefront with modified openings set within a granite stone plinth, keeping the existing fascia and composite stone pilasters”. Also included in the plan a new entrance on Davygate, while also replacing one of the existing shopfront windows on New Street, creating a main entrance to the proposed Mappin & Webb main sales area… in keeping with the “existing heritage features described on the former Debenhams show windows.”
The proposed flagship is being designed by jewellery-centric London-based architects Mark Pinney Associates who has been responsible for Tiffany & Co UK stores.