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Houlden Member Laings recently announced that Brian Nelson has been appointed as the new Retail Director. Read the full story below. (Photo left to right – Joe Walsh CEO, Brian Nelson Retail Director, Stuart McDowell MD)



Laings has announced Brian Nelson as its new Retail Director, responsible for the on and offline retail operations and day-to-day management of the 182-year-old business.

Previously Head of Retail at Laings, Brian will now have strategic oversight of the retail side of the business, including its showrooms located across the UK (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton and Cardiff), as well as its first mono-brand showroom with OMEGA in Wales. He will focus on ensuring a continued level of exceptional service, driving footfall and elevating the client experience, as well as playing a key role in shaping the success of the new Laings flagship showroom in Glasgow, announced earlier this year.

Laings introduced its board of directors in October last year to support the jewellers’ growth, with extensive transformation plans being rolled out across the business as part of its £10m multi-layer expansion project. With over 27 years’ experience in the jewellery and watch sector, Brian will become the tenth member of Laings’ board of directors, supporting Managing Director, Stuart McDowell and Sales Director, Richard Laing, as well as feeding into the wider business operations.

Stuart McDowell, who previously held the role of Retail Director at Laings until 2021 when he was announced as Managing Director, said: “Brian brings a wealth of customer service experience to the team – a key area for us as we build on our legacy as a leading destination for luxury jewellery and watches. He has done a fantastic job of leading our retail team through the first stages of our expansion plan and his appointment to the board demonstrates the significance of the customer experience to our overall business strategy.

“As Retail Director, Brian will help lead the next phase of development for Laings, while continuing to work alongside our partners and brands to redefine a truly luxury retail experience. His presence on the board will bolster our leadership team, and together, we will continue to put our clients at the heart of our plans as we focus on delivering an unparalleled service. I am confident that with his vision and expertise for best practice, we will continue to make great strides in this ambition.”

Brian first joined Laings in 2006, spending six years as Assistant Manager, following stints with high street jewellers Ernest Jones, and a senior role at international jewellers Mappin & Webb. Brian re-joined the Laings team in 2019 from Fraser Hart Jewellers, taking over management of the Edinburgh watch gallery, before becoming Laings Edinburgh Manager. Brian moved into the role of Head of Retail in October last year, and less than nine months later has been promoted to Retail Director, joining the board of directors.   

Brian Nelson said: “Having held various roles across the sector, and within Laings itself – from shop floor to operations management – I can now offer my passion and expertise to the board to bring best practice together with Laings’ esteemed heritage to truly exceed client expectations.

“Laings is on a journey of evolution to challenge jewellery and watchmaking retail experiences and I’m pleased to have a part in leading this transformation as we bring innovation to every area of the business.”

Through six generations of family ownership, Laings has grown to become a leading independent luxury jeweller, offering a curated selection of fine jewellery and watches from some of the world’s most prestigious brands, including Rolex and Patek Philippe, as well as bespoke design and repair services by the in-house team of master watchmakers, goldsmiths and jewellery designers. Having unveiled its vision for the future last year, a number of projects are already underway which will see Laings transform its showrooms and workshops, reimagining the customer experience while ensuring traditional jewellers’ crafts are kept alive for generations to come.

For more information about Laings, visit

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