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10-Store Jewelry Chain Acquired

It’s described as a ‘very secure, well-known and highly valued brand.’

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SPRINGFIELD, MA – Michaels Jewelers, a Connecticut-based retail jewelry chain that operates 10 stores, has been purchased by 7C Diamonds Inc. of Springfield, MA.

Financial terms of the  deal were not disclosed.

W. Mark Michaels, CEO of the family-owned Michaels Jewelers, said, “Our family-owned business is proud to announce that we have reached a purchase agreement with our close family friend and highly revered jewelry retail specialist Camile Hannoush, president of 7C Diamonds, Inc. based in Springfield, Mass.”

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Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales

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Michaels Jewelers stores in Connecticut are currently located in Danbury, Orange, Avon, Torrington and Bristol and in well-known malls that include Westfarms, Manchester’s Buckland Hills, Westfield Trumbull, Westfield Meriden and Waterbury’s Brass Mill Center.

“Nine of these stores will remain open with their management and employee teams in place,” Hannoush said. “We will repurpose and relocate the Torrington store inventory and staff to a yet-to-be-determined new store location, and on Aug. 16, that store, at 80 Main St., will begin to host a closing sale.”

Michaels Jewelers was founded in 1885 by Abraham L. Michaels and has been managed most recently by fourth- and fifth-generation family members.

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“As I approach my impending retirement, we have decided to sell our family-founded enterprise to another family-owned jewelry entrepreneur that will assure the continuation of our family’s legacy past our current fifth generation,” said W. Mark Michaels.

Hannoush said Michaels Jewelers is a “very secure, well-known and highly valued brand.”

“As another family-owned jewelry business, the 7C Diamonds Inc. team is highly honored to keep moving the Michaels brand forward to keep the well-established legacy prominently viable across Connecticut,” Hannoush said.

“Fourth-generation family member Mark Michaels will be much-welcomed as a revered supportive consultant to 7C Diamonds Inc. as will fifth-generation family member Lindsay Michaels-Gorski, who will provide insights into effective marketing strategies for Michaels Jewelers and continue as the ‘voice of the brand.’”

7C Diamonds welcomes DeAnna Syner as Michaels Jewelers director of marketing and Valentino Diaz as operations team support member. Employees in the nine Connecticut stores will remain in place.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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The Big Survey 2019: Top Jewelry Brands Revealed

This year marks a three-peat.

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WE ASKED OUR 802 Big Survey respondents, “What are the three best performing brand-name jewelry lines that you carry?”, and these were the top 20 brands mentioned. Interestingly, Gabriel & Co. and Stuller made it a three-peat, claiming the top two spots in our rankings for the third year in a row. Allison-Kaufman moved up a spot from 4 to 3, and Simon G. was a big leaper, jumping all the way to number 5 from 20 in 2018. (Total votes included in parentheses)

2019 RANK / BRAND2018 RANKCHANGE IN RANK
1. Gabriel & Co. (64)1
2. Stuller (41)2
3. Allison-Kaufman (29)4up 1
4. Hearts On Fire (18)3down 1
5. Simon G. (15)20up 15
6 tie. Pandora (14)6
6 tie. Ostbye (14)10up 4
8 tie. John Hardy (13)9up 1
8 tie. Lashbrook (13)15up 7
10 tie. Benchmark (12)8down 2
10 tie. Frederic Duclos (12)11up 1
12 tie. Roberto Coin (11)23up 11
12 tie. Sylvie Collection (11)22up 10
12 tie. ASHI Diamonds (11)23up 11
15 tie. Berco (10)23up 8
15 tie. Tacori (10)outside top 25 
17 tie. ArtCarved (9)7down 10
17 tie. Le Vian (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. Officina Bernardi (9)outside top 25 
17 tie. SDC Creations (9)15down 2
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Jewelry Brand Opens 2 Brick-and-Mortar Stores Following $13M Investment Round

They’re located in New York.

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AUrate, a New York based direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand, plans to use part of the $13 million that it recently raised to build a brick-and-mortar presence.

The company is opening two permanent stores in New York City, Women’s Wear Daily reports. They’ll be located in SoHo and on Madison Avenue.

They’ll “feature experiential technology that introduces consumers to the raw materials and production methods enlisted to create Aurate jewelry,” according to the report.

They were set to open Oct. 12.

AUrate announced in late June that it had completed a $13 million investment round. With the Series A funding, led by Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital, the company said it planned to expand its online and offline operations and direct investment in technology. Additional participants included Point King Capital, Arab Angel Fund and Drake Management.

AUrate soft-launched in 2015, when co-founders Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn held full-time jobs at Goldman Sachs & Marc Jacobs, respectively.

The brand was officially launched in 2017, with both online and offline stores. The co-founders went on to raise $2.6M in a seed round.

Read more at Women’s Wear Daily

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De Beers Lab-Grown Diamonds to Make Brick-and-Mortar Debut

It’s a test run that will begin this month.

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Lab-grown diamonds from De Beers-owned Lightbox will soon be available at certain Bloomingdale’s and Reeds Jewelers stores.

It’s a test run that will begin this month, Forbes reports. The effort marks Lightbox’s brick-and-mortar debut.

Lightbox pieces are lab-grown diamonds set in accessibly priced fashion jewelry. They’ve been sold since September 2018 online and in pop-up shops.

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales
Jimmy Degroot

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales

Video: How to Ask for Referrals Without Being Too Pushy
Jimmy Degroot

Video: How to Ask for Referrals Without Being Too Pushy

Video: How to Get People to Buy Jewelry From You Now Instead of ‘Someday’
Headlines

Video: How to Get People to Buy Jewelry From You Now Instead of ‘Someday’

The pieces will be sold at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in New York and its San Francisco location store. And they’ll be available at 30 Reeds Jewelers, primarily in the Southeast, Forbes reports.

The trial is expected to last as long as six months.

Lightbox debuted in 2018 with products priced from $200 for a quarter-carat stone to $800 for a one-carat stone. It started with pink, blue and white lab-grown diamonds in a selection of earring and necklace designs, and the company later said it was expanding the line with bracelets and stackable rings.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, said last year that Lightbox would “transform the lab-grown diamond sector by offering consumers a lab-grown product they have told us they want but aren’t getting: affordable fashion jewelry that may not be forever, but is perfect for right now.”

The move to brick-and-mortar is no surprise. Lightbox Managing Director Steve Coe announced at the JCK Las Vegas show in June that he expected to begin market testing the brand in retail stores this year. After the company’s $94 million plant in Gresham, OR, goes online in 2020, production will increase and the brand will be offered to a broad range of retailers by 2021. Color offerings and jewelry-design styles will likely be expanded as well.

Coe said consumer research has backed up the De Beers belief that laboratory-grown diamonds work best as fashion accessories for everyday wear, and not for significant occasions, such as engagement, for which consumers say they prefer natural diamonds.

Read more at Forbes

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