There are 579 reviews from customers of the Market Cross Jewellers online retail service, and the e-store scores a perfect five stars. It is an impressive achievement for a jeweller that only launched in 1980, and now boasts twelve physical stores across the north east of England.

“Investing in, and improving our website,” has been this year’s greatest achievement, according to the company’s owner Roy Welsh. “There is myself and a tight knit, dedicated team responsible for all our online activity be it sales, answering customer queries, promotions, social media etc,” he explains.

The expansion of the jeweller’s network of physical and online stores has allowed it to push up the luxury ladder for watches, and it now stocks some of the world’s most prestigious brands. “We are currently expanding our Middlesbrough shop and opening a new prestigious watch boutique featuring Breitling, Cartier and Omega. When a customer is purchasing such a special timepiece they need an outstanding retail experience and this is what we will achieve within this environment,” Roy promises. It also has a thriving pre-owned watch business that is doing a roaring trade in vintage Rolex timepieces.

It isn’t just the Market Cross Jewellers empire that is expanding fast. Roy has just welcomed 10 ducklings into the world from a pair of ducks that the family keeps in its garden pond; and there are 12 more eggs waiting to hatch, he reveals.

The garden pond provides relaxation, but Roy’s real passion is for horse racing. “Going horse racing brings me great pleasure. We sponsor 14 races a year at our local courses where we take clients to enjoy the day,” he explains.