Diamond opportunity for jewellery seller

A Pandora franchise has opened in Carmarthen, creating eight new jobs, with the support of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Finance Wales.

The new retail store, situated on Lammas Street, is part of the Pandora jewellery network operating in over 70 countries, on six continents and with 10,200 shops. The store will be the second Pandora franchise owned by Stephen Hughes, who also owns an independent jewellery shop in Swansea, Stephen Hughes Fine Diamonds.

Having decided to expand his business portfolio further, he approached Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking for a loan of £50,000.

Through the Funding for Lending Scheme supported by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Stephen received a one per cent discount on the life of the business loan allowing him to reinvest the funding back into the business.

In addition, Stephen also received a loan from Finance Wales to help to purchase the stock for the newly opened franchise.

Stephen Hughes, owner of the new franchise, said: “It felt like the right time to expand and with an already successful business model in place, it seemed logical to open another franchise. Fine jewellery is well sought after and by opening a new shop, we can help the economy while creating new jobs for the local area.

“Having funding and support from two different organisations has been vital in enabling the project. My Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking relationship manager has made the process easy, as I can just pick up the phone and call with any questions. I now look forward to expanding my business portfolio further.”

Jonathan Richards, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Stephen has been in the jewellery sector for 16 years and is a chairman of a national co-operative so has a wealth of experience in the industry. He has worked hard to grow his business. Stephen’s turnover has tripled over the last three years and he hopes to double turnover further by opening two more franchises in South Wales.”

Raymond Walters, portfolio executive at Finance Wales led on the investment for Finance Wales. He said:  “Finance Wales provided Stephen with a loan in 2012 for his Swansea business. We’re delighted to be able to back him again as he expands and opens his Carmarthen store. 

“He has combined finance from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Finance Wales to fund the venture. Finance Wales’ loan has provided additional working capital to purchase stock for the busy Christmas period.”