Belfast Telegraph

New stores add more sparkle for Argento

By Heather McGarrigle

A Northern Ireland jeweller is opening four new stores in an investment of £360,000.

Argento said it is set to open the shops — in William Street South in Belfast, close to Victoria Square shopping centre, Bloomfield Shopping Centre in Bangor, Nottingham and Brunswick Square in London — by early November.

The company already employs 270 people.

The expansion is set to create 35 jobs.

There are already 24 Argento stores across Northern Ireland, the Republic and the UK, including shops in Cork, Sligo, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Nottingham.

The stores in Belfast, Bangor and Nottingham will be Pandora outlets, featuring collections from the Danish designer.

The retailer has also announced plans to double in size by having 48 stores in total by the end of 2011, with a further 80 jobs created by then.

Argento was established by Co Tyrone man Pete Boyle in 1997, with the first store opening on Castle Street in Belfast.

Mr Boyle, who sowed the seeds of his future career when he sold jewellery on Rossnowlagh beach in Co Donegal, said:

“We are working very hard to make a success of the business in these difficult economic times, but we are lucky to have a very dedicated team and the right product behind the Argento brand to allow us to do that and to continue our store expansion plans.

“We are particularly excited about opening our first London store.

“We are proud of our business achievements, including being able to create employment opportunities at a time when so many people need jobs.

“We are determined not to be thought of as complacent and are committed to making sure that the four new shops, along with the existing ones, are here for the long-term.”

Last year, Argento’s Belfast city centre operation moved into the large premises on Royal Avenue formerly occupied by jeweller’s Lunn’s.

Argento now trades from two shops on the site.

Belfast Telegraph