Debra LaBudde launched Memo, an ecommerce site that specializes in fine jewelry. The name of the brand refers to the consignment practices within the jewelry and diamond industry, wich served as the inspiration for her concept. LaBudde noticed there was an untapped market for fine jewelry, “(I saw) an interesting opportunity in the marketplace that, in my mind, hasn’t been well served, and that ultimately could create a larger market.”
Tiffany & Co. reported Wednesday that while U.S. sales varied by location in the first quarter, they were “generally soft” with both foreign tourists and local customers spending less. In the first quarter ended April 30, the New York-based retailer recorded a 4 percent decline in same-store sales in the Americas, with net sales down 3 percent to $392 million. Worldwide net sales rose 1% to $900 million due to growth in Asia-Pacific - Tiffany's second largest market - and an increase in the wholesale sale of diamonds, while comparable store sales were 3% below the prior year.
Canadian - or rather, Québécois - diamonds from mine to finger were cause for celebration in Montreal yesterday, as Maison Birks unveiled the first 200 diamonds from Quebec's Renard diamond mine, owned by Stornoway Diamond Corporation. In the presence of Birks Group President and CEO, Mr.
The first edition of CARAT+, the new diamond and diamond-jewelry exclusive trade show in Antwerp, concluded its final day of trading on a positive note, the organizers announce. Official data indicates that over the three-day period, CARAT+ recorded 2,927 visitors from 29 different countries; they were welcomed by 116 exhibitors from 14 countries. The organizers have already set a date for the second edition: 6 + 7 + 8 May 2018.
Signet Jewelers Limited has announced that it had reached an agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to resolve all claims related to the pay and promotion of female retail sales employees at the company in EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. The Consent Decree states there were “no findings of liability or
The French luxury group Kering reported a strong first quarter, with group revenue rising by 31% y-o-y basis to $3.89 billion. Sales from its luxury activities for the same period totaled $2.63 billion, up by a steep 34%. The sales growth in the group’s directly operated store network increased significantly to 36.6%, as a direct result of the remarkable performance in Western Europe and the Asia Pacific area, which reported sales increases of 49.9% and 46.7% respectively.
Chow Tai Fook has partnered with luxury travel retailer DFS Group, a subsidiary of LVMH, to open its second boutique in the United States on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The Hong Kong-based jeweler’s branded store will launch in T Galleria by DFS in the heart of Honolulu and close to the iconic Waikiki Beach. T Galleria by DFS is a prime shopping destination for travellers seeking leading international luxury brands; Hawaii is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination, with jewelry fast becoming a key retail category for travellers to the islands.
In April 2017, a symposium called, “Synthetic Diamonds: Are Watchmaking and Jewelry in Danger?” was held in Geneva, specifically to address the issue of synthetic diamonds in the domain of watchmaking and how it is possible to differentiate natural from lab-grown stones.
Following the end of year 2016 in which poor sales performance and management changes were overshadowed by the reemergence of allegations of rampant sexual harassment and discrimination, Signet Jewelers is clearly making an effort to polish its i
The world’s largest jeweler, Hong-Kong based Chow Tai Fook, reports strong retail sales growth in the fiscal fourth quarter, reversing 12 consecutive quarters (3 years) of same store sales decline in Hong Kong and Macau, dating back to Q4 2014. The uptick was strongest in Mainland China, where overall retail sales value increased 16% while same store sales rose 12%. Overall and same store sales in Hong Kong and Macau rose by 1% and 4% respectively.
‘Chocolate’ diamonds have gained in popularity in recent years, to the chagrin of many purists. For years some diamond jewelry companies have been accused of generating a hype about diamonds traditionally seen as bottom-the-barrel stones, effectively deceiving end consumers by rebranding brown diamonds as ‘chocolate’. Jezebel and the Daily Mail have gone so far as to call these jewelers “liars” who are “fooling women”, claiming the name and marketing of the chocolate diamond is insulting: “Women won’t be able to resist, because it’s chocolate!
The De Beers Group made headlines last month when it announced the end of its joint venture with LVMH with the aquisition of their 50% share in De Beers Diamond Jewellers (DBDJ), a move that Chaim Even-Zohar characterizes as, "brilliant and long overdue." He writes, "With De Beers at the helm, the venture will get a realistic chance to succeed.
Necklaces with detachable pendants that double as brooches, tiaras fit for royalty that can also be worn as bracelets, and earrings which can transform into haircombs are making their way back this season. High Jewelry brands such as Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arples, Cartier, Bulgari and Graff have re-embraced the notion of transformable jewelry. The versatile trend is“perfectly adapted to our times,” says Jean-Marc Mansvelt, CEO of Chaumet.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's largest luxury producs group, recorded revenue of 9.9 billion Euros ($10.51 billion) for the first quarter 2017, an increase of 15%. Organic revenue (with comparable structure and constant exchange rates) growth was 13% compared to the same period of 2016, an increase attributable to all business groups.
With 850 million active users monthly, western luxury brands have been quick to embrace China’s “most important platform for luxury brands”, WeChat. Local and international brands have realised the potential of the platform to make them key players in China’s $103 billion jewelry market. Western companies have used it for flash sales as well as marketing and customer interaction. While these flash events have spurred sales, China’s online sales remain limited, says Antoine Pin, managing director of Bulgari in greater China.
R2Net, which owns JamesAllen.com, the fastest growing online diamond retailer, obtained a $140M growth equity investment from Francisco Partners to further accelerate the company’s rapid expansion, the company announced in a press release. “Anyone who has ever bought a diamond or an engagement ring appreciates how intimidating the process can be for the consumer,” said Matt Spetzler, Partner at Francisco Partners.
Luxury Jeweler Chopard has collaborated with “Diamonds” singer Rihanna on an exclusive and limited edition Haute Joaillerie collection “Rihanna ♥ Chopard”. The international R&B star is frequently adorned in Chopard on the red carpet. Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s Co-President and Creative Director, worked directly with the artist for the colorful collection inspired by the singer’s home, Barbados, with elements of the gardens and the vibrant spirit of Carnival.
JCK's Rob Bates conducted an in-depth and personal interview with Cecilia Gardner, who recently stepped down after 18 years as president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to compliance with laws pertaining to the jewelry industry.
Christie’s upcoming auction of Magnificent Jewels will take place on May 17 at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. Consisting of approximately 250 exceptional jewels, it will include a thematic section comprising 30 exceptional pieces from Italian makers, important gem stones, coloured diamonds and signed jewels.
"The organizers of Baselworld, the world’s largest watch and jewelry fair, have recognized that it is in a state of decline," writes Anthony DeMarco for Forbes. "At a time when the fair has reached the milestone of 100 years, fair organizers announced that they are reducing the 2018 edition by two days and cutting prices for exhibitors, following several years of exhibitor and attendance declines." The organization announced in a press release that visitor figures were down 4% to 106,000 buyers.
Speaking at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) Café - a monthly guest lecture series at AWDC - diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan addressed the latest trends in the U.S. retail jewelry market. Drawing on actual point-of-sale data gathered by NPD Group from thousands of retail doors in the U.S., including major jewelry chains and hundreds of independent jewelers, Golan notes that the industries tracked by NPD in the U.S.
Fashion and jewelry houses are stunned by the latest shopping trend: See-now, Buy-Now. Consumers nowadays desire instant gratification and no longer wish to wait between seeing an outfit on the runway and being able to purchase the look. This trend is likely due to the increase in women who are buying jewelry and designer clothes for themselves. “They buy jewelry like they buy fashion, so are more spontaneous now,” said Nicolas Bos, chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Jewelry designers have anxiously waited for the results of JCK’s annual Jewelers’ Choice Awards. The coveted spot not only leaves one designer as a winner, but also international exposure as the winning piece is featured on the March-April issue of JCK’s magazine. Although many introduced a design for the competition, there could be only one winner; Shy Creation, an LA-based brand founded by chief designer Shy Dayan.
De Beers Group announced today that it has successfully concluded the purchase of LVMH’s 50 per cent shareholding in De Beers Diamond Jewellers to take full ownership of the company, the company announced today in a press release. De Beers Diamond Jewellers’ retail network comprises 32 stores in 17 key consumer markets around the world. This includes a growing business in greater China and with Chinese clients worldwide, an established presence in London and Paris, and a new flagship location in New York City.
Bulgari, an LVMH-owned jeweler and watchmaker, announced the opening of its new jewelry manufacturing facility in Valenza, Italy, a mere 18 months since the foundation stone was laid. It is one of the largest expansions of Bulgari’s exclusive “made in Italy” manufacturing network. Bulgari strategically chose Valenza, famous for its goldsmith history and the Cascina dell’Orefice (est. 1817), as the location for the new site, which they expect to create an additional 300 jobs by 2020.
Tiffany & Co. today (March 17) reported its financial results for the full year and the three months (fourth quarter) ended January 31, 2017, which were consistent with its previously issued guidance for the 2016 fiscal year. Worldwide net sales declined 3% in the year and rose 1% in the fourth quarter, while in both periods higher gross margins countered growth in operating expenses. Net earnings per diluted share declined 1% in the full year and 2% in the fourth quarter. The company generated more than $700 million of cash flow from operating activities in the full year.
Organizers of the CARAT+ "Diamond Event" trade show to be held in Antwerp from May 7 - 9 have announced an agreement with "Bond Girl" Caterina Murino (Casino Royale, 2006) to be a guest of honor, and has announced an exclusive media partnership with The Rapaport Group. Murino, playing the sultry Solange Dimitrios, became the 71st member of one of the most celebrated and exclusive clubs in movie history, known as "the Bond Girls".
Christie's Hong Kong will auction two exceptional articles at the Spring Sale of Magnificent Jewels on May 30. One extraordinary piece is the Emerald and Diamond Palmette Necklace, while the other is the renowned and stunning Harry Winston Jonker V. The 'Jonker No. 5' is part of a legendary collection of 13 stones fashioned from one of the most famous diamonds in history: the 726-carat piece of rough discovered by Jacob Jonker in South Africa in 1934, which at the time was said to be the fourth largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered.
Citing figures from Jewelers Security Alliance, National Jeweler reports that jewelry crime rose 6 percent year-over-year in 2016, to 1,245 reported crimes committed against U.S. jewelry firms, compared with 1,177 in 2015. The losses in dollar terms were roughly equivalent, increasing approximately 5% to $72.4 million. Michelle Graff notes there were a total of six industry homicides in 2016 - five jewelers and one traveling salesman - up from two in 2015, while jewelers killed five robbers, up from three in 2015.
The fourth Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show (28 February-4 March) and the 34th Hong Kong International Jewellery Show (2-6 March) featured about 4,480 exhibitors, and attracted over 85,000 buyers from 144 countries and regions, up six percent over last year, according to organizer Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). More than 33,000 buyers visited the Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, while some 52,000 visitors attended the Jewellery Show. “Despite economic challenges, especially in the luxury goods market, the two shows attracted a record number of buyers.
Sales at specialty jewelry stores in the U.S. grew 3.8 percent to $31.43 billion in 2016 following a sharp rise in December, according to data from the the U.S. Census Bureau. December sales jumped 7 percent to $6.21 billion from $5.81 billion in December 2015, the provisional figures showed. To give an indication of the impact of December sales on overall jewelry sales, the monthly sales average for the 11 months before December was $2.29 billion, meaning that December sales represented a 170% rise over the 11 months prior.
Signet Jewelers, recently making unfortunate headlines with the reemergence of allegations for sexual harassment, has reported falling sales nearly across the board in the fourth quarter (the 13 weeks ended January 28, 2017), as overall same-stores sales fell 4.5% in the quarter, and 1.9% for fiscal year 2017. The 4.5% fall in Q4 sales compares unfavorably to a 4.9% increase in Q4 2016.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) will honor iconic retailer Helzberg Diamonds with the Diamonds Do Good Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award, the organization writes in a press release. The retailer will be one of three honorees at DEF’s Diamonds Do Good Awards gala, June 4 at the Four Seasons Ballroom in Las Vegas. The award reflects the actions taken by a corporation to better the lives of the local community while making a difference at the global level.
Retail sales in Hong Kong across all categories resigtered an 0.9% drop in value terms and a 1.4% fall in volume terms year-on-year, according to statistics released last week by the HK government.
Jewelers around the world have come to realize the mostly untapped potential of the millennial audience, and technology is the most important tool they have at their disposal, writes Martha C. White for JCK.
Hundreds of former employees of Sterling Jewelers, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate owned by Signet - the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the US, UK and Canada, with about 3,600 stores under brand names such as Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria of Jewelry - claim that its chief executive and other company leaders presided over a corporate culture that fostered rampant sexual harassment and discrimination, according to arbitration documents obtained by
The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), a committee dedicated to educating and regulating the ethics and integrity of the jewelry industry, has appointed Tiffany Stevens as its new president and CEO, reports JCK. She succeeds Cecilia Gardner, who held this post for 18 years, was general counsel of the World Diamond Council for 15 years and was involved in the Kimberley Process from the time of its inception in 2000.
Authentic advertising campaigns are the next Big thing when targeting millennials, who prefer seeing real people facing situations they could identify with. This strategy is quickly gaining popularity with leading brands in their attempt to reach the everyday consumer, who is more laid-back than previous generations. Italian Jeweler Pomellato, celebrating its 50th anniversary, implemented this tactic and linked their campaign with female empowerment, a movement that is being encouraged through various platforms.
Hollywood's stars got their night to shine on the red carpet at the 89th annual Academy Awards, but their stunning diamond jewelry perhaps shone even brighter. The showstopper was the pair of statement earrings (photo) by Chopard featuring a 25-carat pear-shaped D-flawless diamond and 26-carat heart-shaped D-flawless diamond, 4.55-carats of pear-shaped diamonds and 4.35-carats of brilliant-cut diamonds set in 18k white ‘Fairmined’ gold from the “Garden of Kalahari Collection", worn by Charlize Theron.
Tiffany & Co. announced it would appoint three new independent directors to join its board of directors, making a total of 13 members. Roger Farah, James Lillie and Francesco Trapani will join the board as part of an agreement between Tiffany and stakeholders Jana Partners. “We are excited to be adding such distinguished directors to our Board as part of our ongoing process to refresh the Board, and we are pleased to have worked cooperatively with JANA Partners to have met our objective,” says Chairman Michael Kowalski.
In 2013, Kristall Smolensk diamonds, a Russia-based major polished diamond manufacturer, unveiled a replica of the Great Imperial Crown (it was on display at the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair in January).
Forevermark, the diamond brand from the De Beers Group of Companies, has expanded to 2,000 retail outlets globally with the intention of expanding by an additional 10% this year, said CEO Stephen Lussier. The opening of the 2,000th Forevermark outlet, the Zen Diamond Anatolium store in the city of Bursa in Turkey, was followed by an announcement of a strong 2016. The brand spent US$85 million on consumer-facing marketing activities in 2016 to help stimulate global demand for diamond jewelry.
Luxury brands are eager to cater to the desires of men as, “men are wearing more and more jewelry,” says Caroline Gaspard, founder of Akillis, a French-based jewelry brand which specializes in unisex jewelry. “The barriers are falling, and younger men are confident in expressing their own look.” Although the jewelry industry is still very much female-centric, brands are making headway by catering to men who are more fashion-forward and not afraid of expressing their individuality through jewelry.
77 Diamonds, a small independent London company, has caused quite a stir in the shopping environment for jewelry by making bespoke jewelry in the UK and selling it online. The business was developed to cater to the change in consumer behavior of a generation that is more likely to meet their potential match by swiping right, than in person.
De Grisogono, a Geneva-based high-end jeweler, has entered a partnership with Jewelers DLK for its American operations in an effort to further develop the brand’s presence in the U.S. The partnership with DLK, owned by David and Lisa Klein, will enable the brand to further develop their precious stones, haute-jewelry collections and move away from being a brand that is reputed solely for having bought some of the world’s largest rough diamonds. De Grisogono USA will be managed by the Kleins, the Geneva-based company said on Friday.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of The De Beers Group of Companies, announced its first retail partnership in Asia for its generic polished diamond grading services. The partnership is with the Soo Kee Group in Singapore, which formally launches in February for the retailer’s bridal brand, Love & Co., for its Lovemarque diamond collection.
The year of the Rooster has officially commenced, and with that, the sales results of the Chinese New Year holiday period have been released. Chow Tai Fook reported mainland China outperformed Hong Kong and Macau’s holiday sales. During this period, between January 14 and February 3, revenue from the mainland rose by 4%, while same store sales grew by 1%. Gem-set sales on the mainland dropped by a whopping 20%, which is likely due to the brand not including the Valentine’s Day sales period this year.
Two professional jewelers are seeking to fill a market need by launching an app for the industry, Jewellery Trader, which gives members of the trade a new tool for sourcing and showcasing jewelry, watches and antiques. It also enables traders to advertise items for sale to consumers. The Jewellery Trader app was designed in an effort to provide an “innovative, cost effective selling tool in an easy to use and manage platform”.
179-year-old Tiffany & Co. has made headlines recently, launching a new ad campaign featuring Lady Gaga - who rocked the Super Bowl halftime show - and quietly dropping CEO Frederic Cumenal. Cumenal was let go due to his inability to turn around the dropping sales figures since taking over in April 2015.
Tiffany & Co.’s Chief Executive Officer, Frederic Cumenal, has decided to step down from his post. The Board of Directors is actively searching for a successor, but until then, former CEO Michael J. Kowalski will serve as Interim CEO while continuing as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In a statement, the company said the decision was based on its disappointing financial results and that the brand needed to improve its performance.
De Beers Diamond Jewelers on Old Bond Street is considering leaving its flagship London store after almost 15 years, citing an increase in rent and business rates as motivating its decision to relocate, writes The Telegraph. A spokesperson for the company told The Telegraph increased costs related to its lease had led it to “explore alternative options on Bond Street” for its move.
"Last year, 1,669 jewelry businesses (including manufacturers and wholesalers) ceased operations in the United States, a 50 percent jump from 2015, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade", writes JCK's Rob Bates. In total, the number of jewelry businesses fell by 6%. He notes that a surprisingly large number of businesses closed their doors in the fourth quarter, traditionally a time when the trade is in full swing. Bates provides the gory details: 1,269 U.S.
In a major blow to the already struggling jewelry sector in India, the government might cut the threshold limit for the requirement of the permanent account number (PAN) or Unique Identity Code (Adhaar Number) in urban, and Kisan Credit Card number in rural areas for jewelry or bullion purchases between Rs 50,000-100,000 ($740-1,480), writes Business Standard. The Budget, announced Wednesday, is likely to further tighten the noose around black money after the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8, 2016.
Signet Jewelers has announced several organizational changes, "Designed to enable execution of key business priorities including strengthening customer service, enhancing digital capabilities and driving profitable growth." This includes the promotion of Sebastian Hobbs, UK Managing Director, to the newly created role of President and Chief Customer Officer, while two long-time executives will be retiring: Ed Hrabak, Signet Chief Operations Officer; and Tryna Kochanek, EVP, North American Store Operations.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), which collaborates on responsible sourcing practices in the jewelry supply chain, has launched its, "New and improved self-assessment workbook to help kick-start 2017 for our members." RJC explains, "The self-assessment workbook helps members self-assess their performance against the RJC Code of Practices (COP).