Courage is key: Customer is king

    Rita Shanahan pictured in Lorimat's plus new home on 24 Patrick Street, above Fitzgerald's Auctioneers.

    ONE of Kilkenny’s most popular jewellers is on the move to a bigger, brighter and more customer-focused premises on one of the city’s busiest streets.

    The move represents an investment which further boosts the city’s reputation as the wedding capital of Ireland.

    Lorimat Jewellers’ move to 24 Patrick Street comes as it celebrates its 24th anniversary and offers customers a top class shopping experience, second generation jeweller, Rita Shanahan told The Reporter.

    The new chapter begins at the end of this month as Lorimat moves from its long-established location at the top of St Kieran’s Street to a spacious, bright, new location on Patrick Street, above Fitzgerald Auctioneers.

    The owner’s mother, Teresa Brennan, established the family-run business before Rita, a former loss adjuster with The Thornton Group, took over in 2011.

    “Rather than stand behind a counter, we want to offer customers a place to sit down, give them a cuppa and discuss their precise needs,” Rita explained.

    “We want them walking out of our office feeling like they had a memorable experience when buying their engagement ring, wedding rings or special piece of jewellery. We don’t want it just being a transaction. 

    “Changing hours on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to allow for appointment only slots, it will give us more structure and makes the whole customer experience more special,” Rita added.  

    Lorimat has traded from the same premises for 15 years and has been located on St Kieran’s Street for 23 years.

    “Business has changed over that time and as much as 70% of trade today centres around weddings, Rita added.

    Almost all business is initiated or generated through her impressive website, http://www.lorimatkilkenny.ie/.

    “Our range on Patrick Street will be more focused. We will carry more diamond jewellery. We will keep our range of Bridal Party Jewellery, such as gifts for bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and groom, jewellery for the bride on her wedding day and cufflinks for the groom and groomsmen.

    “We will also continue with our own Chicago Marcasite Jewellery range as it is still as popular as ever. As we want to offer a more personalised service for each of our customers, we will specifically make or order in any item that a customer wants,” Rita continued.

    The transfer will be at the end of January. The new premises will open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm; opening on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be appointment only.

    Teresa Brennan said that while they will miss the buzz and the community spirit that makes St Kieran’s Street so special, the move is critical in an era when online shopping is thriving and the customer experience needs to be all the more special.

    “To succeed in retail in today’s climate I honestly believe the most important attribute one must have is courage.  Rita always knew when it was time for change and never had a problem implementing it.

    “I must admit I had some doubts when Rita decided to walk away from a good, pensionable job in the Valuations Office but would never dream of questioning her decision.  

    “Her time with the Jewellery Loss Adjusters has enabled her to offer an excellent jewellery valuation service. I wish her continued success,” Teresa added.