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F Hinds takes over Chapelle outlet stores - including branch at Ashford's McArthurGlen

By Chris Britcher

A specialist jewellery and watch firm operating in the county has been saved after falling into administration.

High street jeweller F Hinds has taken over most of the Chapelle outlet stores after it called in the adminstrators earlier this year.

Among the outlets saved is the branch at Ashford's McArthurGlen Designer Outlet.

The designer outlet centre in Ashford
The designer outlet centre in Ashford

F Hinds has taken on 12 of the struggling Chapelle outlets nationwide.

Managing director David Hinds said: "We are delighted to be able to take on many of the Chapelle outlet stores as well as their website.

"We are also very pleased to be saving over 80 jobs. We believe Chapelle complements our existing F Hinds business and that we will be able to share our experience and to offer increased operational efficiency.

FH Hinds has taken over the Chapelle outlet store in Ashford
FH Hinds has taken over the Chapelle outlet store in Ashford

"We welcome the Chapelle staff and customers to our family and believe that a similar company culture will help us to build a new and better business together."

Chapelle was founded in 1979 as a retail business that offered discounted watches and jewellery.

It trades in outlet centres across the UK and stocks brands such as Armani, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Hot Diamonds, Michael Kors, Radley and Ted Baker.

F Hinds already has outlets across Kent, including Ramsgate, Dover, Gillingham, Sittingbourne, Folkestone and Ashford
F Hinds already has outlets across Kent, including Ramsgate, Dover, Gillingham, Sittingbourne, Folkestone and Ashford

It went into administration in January.

At the time, Jim Saunders, director of adminstrators Duff & Phelps, said: “Whilst the current management team has spent the last two years working hard to enhance the store estate, brand proposition and driving significant operational efficiencies, economic uncertainty continues to weigh heavily on consume confidence.

“In addition, retailers face rising business rates, national minimum wage increases and a paradigm shift in the retail landscape. This has impacted most retailers and as a result of trading losses, Chapelle could no longer meet its ongoing liabilities.”

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