Top jeweller loses its sparkle in recession

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The Independent Online

The upmarket jeweller Theo Fennell's confidence that its customers would continue buying ostentatious rings and necklaces in the credit crunch looked mistaken yesterday when it announced it had recorded an £840,000 loss, its first for three years.

The chain, whose jewellery is sold at prime London shops and concessions around Britain and the world, blamed the recession for sales falling by 20 per cent from £12.8m to £10.2m in the six months to 30 September.

A spokeswoman said the jeweller had been especially hard hit by a fall in trade from high-spending British and Russian customers.

Founded by an Old Etonian of the same name in 1985, Theo Fennell has since been popular with wealthy City and foreign buyers, in particular Russians and Arabs.

Its celebrity clients include Liz Hurley, Elton John, Elle Macpherson and the Beckhams. The downturn has forced the company to postpone a new store on Bond Street in London.

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