Drew Statton Interview
Independent retailer interview:
Drew Statton - Wray & Co Jewellers
Wray & Co Jewellers are passionate about Pre-owned & Antique Jewellery and are always happy to share their knowledge. With 134 years, and 6 generations of history, their collections exemplify the very best from a range of time periods in their history.
We caught up with Drew Statton about the company, how they coped through the pandemic and what plans they have for 2021.
Wray & Co are a much loved, local, independent jewellers. Can you give us a brief history of your 134 years in business?
Over our 134 year with have had many premises in the Plymouth City Centre, from our early beginnings on Union Street to the present day on New George Street. We are one of the oldest family run businesses in Plymouth, spanning over 6 generations of the same family. We also have had a branch in Kingsbridge since 2006.
It has been a difficult year for local retailers. How have you adapted in such tough times?
Each year presents a new challenge for everyone, this past year being incredibly difficult for many. We have adapted by continuing sales online and recently offering a click and collect service when allowed to do so. With gold prices soaring, when open we saw an increase in gold purchasing. We always try to give the best price possible and that reflects on how many people come back after shopping around. Increased gold prices also means purchasing new gold items has been more costly, but with our extensive range of Second-hand products, customers have been getting incredible bargains compared to today's prices. We have always specialised in second-hand sales and currently refilling our window with more antique and second-hand items ready for when we reopen.
As a well-respected ‘Independent retailer’, what are the benefits of using an ‘Indie’?
Independent shops offer so much to a customer and it's important to remember you are helping a local family. We are blessed in Plymouth to have a great range of independent shops such as jewellers, clothing and more. A lot of these businesses have served Plymouth for a long time and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Have any famous faces come into the shop to buy your items?
We have had a few famous faces come into the stores, local and visitors, from footballers to TV personalities... but that will be kept between us and them!
Are there any particular items/trends that are becoming popular?
What we have always found is that we have something for everyone, whether you prefer the Antique Gold or Modern Silver, we have a style for everyone. We have noticed there has been an extra increase in demand Solitaire Diamond rings and earrings this past year of various shapes and sizes for all budgets.
What do you love most about Plymouth?
Plymouth is a beautiful city with a vast and interesting history. From the taking a stroll along the barbican to adventuring on Dartmoor, there is so much to do and see in the local area. Couple this with The Box, Theare Royal and the high street, Plymouth deserves to benefit from more staycations, something we saw an increase in last year.
How and where do you spend your downtime??
All members of Wray & Co are local to Plymouth and Kingsbridge, so spend most of our time locally, even more so this year. When restrictions are lifted Dad and I will probably be spending some time at the Devonport Playhouse, a local theatre owned by the Plymouth Theatre Company. This is where Dad met his late wife Karen, so the theatre is close to our hearts. The Playhouse is currently closed and having much needed renovations to it, so when they can, they will be helping the project. This year, we have all kept close to each other by posting photos of our walks, treats and home projects on our company work chat.
What are you looking forward to most after lockdown 3.0?
We are looking forward to seeing all our customers again, we have built up a great relationship with so many people. We are keen to pick up where we left off and continue to strive to provide a high level of customer service whilst making sure everyone is safe and comfortable on the premises. Lets all hope for a positive future ahead of us!
102 New George Street, Plymouth
Tel: 01752 661651
51 Fore Street, Kingsbridge
Tel: 01548 857577