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CEO of Major Jewelry Chain to Retire; New Chief Named

The president and COO has been promoted.

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Ed Bridge and Lisa Bridge.

SEATTLE, WA – Ben Bridge Jeweler, which has 95 stores in 11 states and one Canadian province, announced that Chairman and CEO Ed Bridge is retiring effective Jan. 31, 2019.

Current President and Chief Operating Officer Lisa Bridge has accepted a promotion to president and CEO. Having served as the first female president of Ben Bridge Jeweler, Lisa Bridge will now continue her service as the fifth generation to run the company.

According to a press release from the company: “Upon retirement, Ed Bridge will leave behind a 45-year legacy of honor, leadership and achievement including serving as chair of Jewelers of America and Jewelers For Children, board member of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the Jewelry Information Center, VP of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and chair of the Seattle Victims Fund, board member of both the University of Washington Hillel and Tyee Club.”

He has been the recipient of the AGS Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous other honors, including being inducted into the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame, according to the release.

“It has been an honor and privilege working with our associates to create incredible moments and touch the lives of so many customers,” Ed Bridge said. “I cherish the relationships I have with our team and the treasured friendships with our many industry partners. I feel thankful to have had the best mentors and bosses one could ask for in my father Bob Bridge, my uncle Herb Bridge and Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO Warren Buffett. I had the pleasure of working with my cousin Jon Bridge as my partner for 28 years before he retired last year. It brings me great joy to know the company will be in such capable hands.

“Lisa will surely propel the business into its next phase and a bright future.”

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Lisa Bridge said: “I am endlessly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from Ed and the generations before me. They have been generous with their wisdom and perspective and will continue to be an inspiration. I am humbled to be stepping in to this role, and I am excited to build a bright future with our incredible team. My mission as CEO is to help our customers celebrate wonderfully meaningful and joyful moments in their lives through the power of jewelry.”

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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CEO of Dominion Diamond Steps Down; New Chief Named

He was in the role for just over a year.

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Patrick Evans has resigned as CEO of Dominion Diamond Corp. after just over a year on the job.

He left the Canadian mining company on Dec. 5, Bloomberg reports. He had begun the role in November 2017.

Stepping into the position is Shane Durgin, who had been serving as chief operating officer.

Dominion was purchased by Montana-based Washington Cos. last year for $1.2 billion.

Evans was hired “to oversee and ensure a smooth transition following the acquisition of Dominion Diamond Mines by Washington,” said Larry Simkins, president of Washington Cos., in a memo to staff.

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Bloomberg reports that Evans would not comment except to say he would continue as an adviser for the company through the end of 2019.

Read more at the Bloomberg

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Major Online Jewelry Brand Opens Brick-and-Mortar Store

It will provide ‘an immersive gallery experience.’

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Online diamond bridal jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com has opened a brick-and-mortar location in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

The store will allow customers to “experience the JamesAllen.com brand in an immersive gallery experience in a physical environment enhanced by the brand’s technology-forward approach to shopping,” according to a press release.

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JamesAllen.com was acquired last year by Signet Jewelers in a $328 million deal.

“We’re excited to continue executing Signet’s Customer-First OmniChannel strategy with this new shopping experience from JamesAllen.com, integrating both our digital and physical retail platforms,” said Virginia C. Drosos, Chief Executive Officer at Signet Jewelers. “The world-class innovation and technology at the core of JamesAllen.com’s business will come to life in the new location, redefining the jewelry shopping experience for our customers.”

The concept store will feature:

Virtual Reality. Customers “can learn about the 4Cs and how to make the best decision when buying diamonds in an immersive way, using a VR headset while viewing a 3D video with narration,” according to the company.

Coffee Bar with “iGrade.” Enjoy coffee while using “patented tablet-based technology that enables customers to browse and grade diamond quality online for peer-to-peer preference comparisons.”

Ring Try-On Photo Booth. Customers can take pictures with diamond rings and upload the images to their social channels, with added visual elements including GIFs and animation, for instant feedback from family and friends.

Self-Service Diamond Display Table. It’s a 10-foot table display featuring best-selling engagement rings, giving customers instant access to diamond rings without needing a key or associate.

The company adds: “As a demonstration of JamesAllen.com’s OmniChannel strategy, customer service representatives at the store will also be available to assist customers through online channels. For example, when employees at the Georgetown location are not assisting customers in-person, they will continue to provide service to customers online, from the same Georgetown location.”

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FedEx Worker Pawned $36,000 of Jewelry Instead of Delivering It, Police Say

He allegedly received $6,000 for the merchandise.

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A Cincinnati man who worked for FedEx is accused of stealing jewelry rather than delivering it.

Terry Hagood was charged with two counts of theft and has pleaded not guilty to both, WKRC-TV reports.

The jewelry in question, worth $36,000 in two shipments, was bound for Quality Gold, police say.

Instead of delivering it, Hagwood allegedly took the jewelry to Queen City Pawn.

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Authorities say he received $6,000 for the merchandise. The crimes are alleged to have taken place in September.

Bond for Hagwood was set at $2,000. He was being held in Hamilton County, OH.

According to WXIX-TV, it was a FedEx corporate security specialist who filed a police report accusing Hagwood of theft.

Read more at the WKRC-TV

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