A historic Hereford Jewellers has submitted a planning application to expand and refit its store in Hereford city centre.

Pleasance and Harper, located on Broad Street in Hereford, submitted the application to Herefordshire Council this week, with the following statement:

“Pleasance & Harper have a long history proudly serving the population of Hereford and surrounding areas. Our first store was opened in 1936, at 54 Broad Street taking over the premises from J.E. Page.

“In 2010 we expanded, opening a dedicated watch boutique at 56 Broad Street.

“Running two separate shops was beneficial and successful as we were able to improve our selection and offer a luxurious environment in which to look after our customers.

“However in recent years with the sharp rise in utilities and energy costs combined with the challenge of recruiting and retaining staff leading to massive increases in overheads, this has become considerably more challenging.

“The change in the retail market over the same period has seen a demand from both retail partners and customers for an enhanced shopping experience. 

“This has never been more prevalent than with luxury brands. They require a certain environment which is also expected from their customers. To qualify as a retail partner, you must adhere to this.

“The current retail space unfortunatelydoes not meet these criteria and our headline brand, Omega has insisted that not only do we need to update their instore display area we also need to carry adjacent luxury brands to sit alongside them. 

“If this doesn’t happen, then they will not renew our distribution agreement.

“To attract these other luxury brands a refit and expansion of the stores would be essential as the floorspace required by these brands is not provided for by the two stores in their current guise.

“To satisfy the brands requirements, we would need to incorporate 55 Broad Street. 

“Moreover, by combining all three stores substantial cost savings would be made further ensuring the longevity of the business.

“As Omega currently accounts for between 35-40 percent of our turnover, we cannot risk losing them. So, if not successful in our application, we would need to relocate with the potential of the current premises being empty until new tenants could be found. 

“With today’s climate and noting the number of empty units in Hereford this could be some time if at all.

“Therefore, we feel the application is imperative and vital on two counts. Not only ensuring the survival of a long-established mainstay of the Hereford shopping scene and the contribution this makes to the local economy but also the creation of residential units on the upper floors to encourage city centre living in line with the plans of the council. 

“This could only be achieved by creating the separate access point as there is no rear access to facilitate this.”

You can find out more about this application by visiting the Herefordshire Council Planning Website and searching for reference number – P240566/L