Jewellery doyen Laing retires after 47 years as family firm unites

Renowned Scottish jeweller Michael Laing yesterday announced his retirement in a move that will reunite his Edinburgh-based business with its Glasgow counterpart.

Michael Laing, left, and Joe Walsh, who runs Laings of Glasgow with his wife Wendy. Photograph: Neil Hanna

Laing, who said he had enjoyed a “wonderful journey” at the helm of the family firm which traces its roots back to 1840, is selling Laing The Jeweller and Parkhouse The Jeweller – together known as LEPH – to Laings of Glasgow, which is run by his niece Wendy Walsh and her husband Joe.

The deal sees the reunion of the original family business, which was split in 2005 when Michael Laing took ownership of its Edinburgh store, along with Parkhouse sites in Southampton and Cardiff, while his brother Stuart retained the two existing shops in Glasgow.

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Laing said: “Over the last 47 years, I have had a wonderful journey in our industry and growing Laing through very fast-changing times. It is more than a business to me, it’s a passion.

“For the last year, I have been considering the best way forward for the business to continue to thrive and grow.”

Earlier this year, the firm announced the rebrand of Parkhouse to the family name, and the enlarged group will employ 130 people in seven shops across the UK under the Laing brand – three in Glasgow, two in Edinburgh, one in Cardiff and one in Southampton.