In 1965, our founder Hugh Rice started us on a journey that would span more than half a century (and counting). He served as an apprentice at the prestigious Carmichael’s department store on George Street in Hull, honing his craft before setting up on his own with the help of a £200 bank loan.
Hugh set up our first store in a small basement 36 George Street in 1971, just a stone’s throw away from his former haunt. Starting life as a clock and watch repairers, our longstanding customers remember it fondly, especially the warm, friendly service they received.
Hugh’s brother Mike joined him three years later as an apprentice jeweller, allowing the company to expand its repertoire of offerings and venturing firmly into the jewellery trade. Together they took the company from that modest basement workshop to today’s chain of thriving high street jewellery stores stocking the most recognisable and loved brands from across the world.
Over the intervening years, we’ve established stores in Hull, Harrogate and Beverley, each offering a personal shopping experience within the most luxury environment. Our Swiss watch offering now includes Rolex, Breitling, Omega, TUDOR, TAG Heuer, and many more, and our own exclusive range of Hugh Rice diamond jewellery, including engagement and wedding rings, sits beautifully beside pieces from world-renowned designers such as Chopard and Mikimoto.
In 2002, our website launched, and in 2009 we opened our first PANDORA store; located in Hull, it was the 4th PANDORA concept store to open in the UK. Spurred by its success, we followed this by opening a further 9 PANDORA stores across the north of England.
Keen to satisfy every facet of our diverse customer needs, we decided to provide a separate shopping space with modern atmosphere and distinct style in the form of our Luxe by Hugh Rice stores, allowing our clientele to indulge in popular brands including PANDORA, Thomas Sabo and Michael Kors. The first of these exciting new ventures opened in Beverley in 2015. That same year, we were awarded the Independent Retailer of The Year at the Retail Jeweller UK Jewellery Awards.
Whilst this success stems from a commitment to product quality and professional expertise, it is our first-class customer experience of which we are most proud. Instilled in us from those humble beginnings, our colleagues genuinely care about their clientele; they get to know them personally and discover their desire and, as such, can use their expert knowledge to find exactly what will delight them. It’s why they keep coming back to us.
As a modern company operating in a traditional industry, we are always forward-thinking; we strive to develop and progress whilst retaining those core values established by Hugh and Mike over four decades ago. Walk into any of our stores today and you’ll be welcomed with a warm smile and genuine interest from colleagues who are attentive and knowledgeable, and whilst each store has its own individual atmosphere and character, you’re certain to experience the distinctive Hugh Rice way. Hugh Rice is more than a business, we’re a family.
To this day, you’ll find a Rice operating in every element of our business…