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Retailer evolves while aiming to bounce back as Inverness store Lapis Goldsmiths & Jewellers rebrands as Hera Fine Jewellery and moves to a larger unit in the Eastgate Centre during the coronavirus lockdown

By Ian Duncan

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Ilknur Uzunoglu who is a director at Hera fine Jewellery. Picture: Callum Mackay
Ilknur Uzunoglu who is a director at Hera fine Jewellery. Picture: Callum Mackay

An Inverness jeweller has emerged from the latest lockdown with a new name and a larger premises.

Lapis Goldsmiths & Jewellers, which has been in the city for around 18 years, took the opportunity to rebrand the business as Hera Fine Jewellery.

The business also moved to a larger unit within the Eastgate Shopping Centre in time for Monday’s post-lockdown reopening.

Ilknur Uzunoglu, a director of the business, said that on the first day they opened – Monday – as well as regular customers, there were lots of folk just calling by to wish them “good luck”.

She added: “It’s been going on for a couple of years, making the move, and initially our thoughts were to keep the two stores.”

However, she said it made better economic sense for the business to continue with just one larger shop.

She explained: “We thought if we go over to the bigger store we could rebrand and make it a little bit more different and sell more diamonds and we specialise in 14 carat gold.”

Mrs Uzunoglu said it was good they were able to make the move during lockdown and were ready to open on Monday. She added: “We started about a year-and-a-half ago and we were committed to it.

“We carried on with it because we just thought it was an ideal situation for us and then here we are. We were quite excited about it and we hope it is going to be good for us.

“We have been trading in Inverness for a long time – we were in Lombard Street before coming over to the Eastgate centre 14 years ago and we were there for three or four years.

“We are very pleased to have loyal customers, that is what has kept us going.

“They love the new look and they find it very exciting.

“We heard very good feedback from everyone that poked their head through the door. They were all saying how beautiful it was.”

She said some visitors had even compared the new unit with the “posh shops” in London which she felt was said in a nice way. She said: “We are delighted with the feedback. We had a lot of people come in and say good luck.”

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Related article: PICTURES: Shoppers flock to Inverness city centre to bag a bargain and drinkers raise a glass in the area's beer gardens as coronavirus restrictions are eased and stores, bars and other outlets are back in business for the first time this year

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