Boodles started life as Boodle and Dunthorne, but a name change in 2002 — after 204 years in operation — is one of the best moves this company has ever made. So says Managing Director Michael Wainwright who, with older brother Nicholas, is the fifth generation to run the family business; a luxury jeweller and jewellery design company which was founded in Liverpool in 1798. “It’s a lot snappier, a better name,” he says proudly.
The other idea that is way up there, in terms of how Boodles does business, is paying serious attention to staff recruitment, training, and retention. “Money spent on training is more important than any other spend, including marketing,” Michael says. “There’s no point in having the best brand in the world if customers are disappointed by the customer service. Customer service is central when it comes to what Boodles stands for.”
Michael has been with Boodles since 1984, taking over as joint managing director, with Nicholas, after their father died in 1992. With Nicholas moving into the role of chairman, Michael has been managing director in his own right for the last eight years, and already there is a sixth generation of family members making their presence felt.
While he’s proud of the latest steps the company has taken — which include opening a flagship store on London’s Bond Street — there is still much to do: expansion, increasing online sales, and bettering the company’s cash management situation.
“The biggest challenge with any move is having the cash to do it. We use our own money to grow — no borrowings. That is one of our core values.”
Michael is passionate about the business. He believes that Boodles is a family store that offers a sense of permanence and connection.