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French Fashion Jewelry Line Les Georgettes Continues Fast Growth for US Retailers

Next up: expansion of points-of-sale and customizable concepts.



Since Les Georgettes was introduced in the U.S. in 2016, it has caught fire for retail jewelers, appearing in INSTORE’s “Hot Brands” list almost every month. The line incorporates gold, silver and ruthenium-plated brass designs with reversible leather inserts of various colors. Initially, the line included cuff bracelets only, but now it includes rings, earrings, pendants and leather goods, as well as brand new offerings for men and, most recently, for kids (“Les Miss Georgettes”).

Video: An Interview with Eric Lefranc, Brand President of Les Georgettes

French Fashion Jewelry Line Les Georgettes Continues Fast Growth for US Retailers

Eric Lefranc is president of Renaissance Luxury Group, a turnaround specialist group that acquired French companies Altesse, a jewelry manufacturer since 1905, and Texier, a leather goods maker since 1951. The acumen and experience of each company was combined to launch Les Georgettes (under the Altesse group) in 2015.

In an interview at this year’s JCK Show, Lefranc said that Les Georgettes is on an incredible growth trajectory. “We started in 2015 and did 1 million euros in France only. In 2016, we did 7 million euros in France and 4 million euros abroad, and in 2017, we did 17 million in France and 7 million abroad. This year we should hit 50 million total.”

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The Les Georgettes reversible cuff is the line’s best-seller, shown here in multiple sizes, designs and colors.

What do American retailers love about the brand? “It’s different — there’s nothing like it. And for the client, it’s a full way to express herself. No one has the same look,” said Lefranc. “Because everything is interchangeable, you can build a full collection.And the price point is good.” Lefranc went on to say that because Altesse has manufactured fine jewelry for over 100 years, the quality is outstanding and the brand has very few returns. He also said consumers love gifting the product because of its affordability and the handsome packaging.

Next up for the brand: watches and belts, as well as more customizable options. Under the guidance of artistic director Céline Guilhermet, a jewelry designer for more than 15 years, the brand continues to maintain a consistent and stylish aesthetic that offers a big look for a low price. “We have things planned for three or four years in the pipeline already,” said Lefranc, “But we want to phase them in because we’ve found that when we bring too much, it’s difficult for the retailers and the customers.”

Lefranc said the brand is now rolling out shops-in-shops in France, and the next step is to bring those to U.S. retailers. There are currently about 450 points-of-sale in the U.S. — primarily on the East Coast, said Lefranc. The goal for 2018 is to expand into other areas of the country. “Our main focus right now is to get into the right retailers, and at some point start bringing them furniture and shop-in-shops, so that they can have the full line. And we’ve discovered that when they have the full line in stock, they can reach the level of $20,000-30,000 per year or more in sales.”

The shop-in-shop concept is similar to what Swarovski and Pandora have done, says Lefranc, “but much more fun.”

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Les Georgettes unveiled a men’s line of rings (from $39) and cuffs (from $79) at this year’s JCK Show.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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