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Jewelry Chain Plans No More Stores in ‘Challenging’ US Market for Now

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It’s currently has 9 locations here.

Australia-based Michael Hill International Ltd. is finding the U.S. market to be “a more challenging market with a new set of dynamics,” the company’s chairwoman said.

As a result, Michael Hill has no immediate plans to open more stores here. The first Michael Hill stores opened in the U.S. in September 2008, and there are now nine. The company’s website lists stores in Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota and New York.

“We are not prepared to expand our foot print in the market until we are confident we have the right operating model, product range and brand positioning to enable us to excel,” Chairwoman Emma Hill said at the company’s annual meeting.

Michael Hill’s U.S. same-store sales were down 8.5 percent in the year ending June 30, according to the company’s annual report.

“Winning in the US, the most competitive jewellery market in the world was never going to be easy. The prize however, if we get it right, is significant,” Hill said in a letter shareholders included in the report. “The Board will continue to monitor our US business as management refine the business model and improve financial performance over the next 24 months.”

There are 332 Michael Hill and Emma & Roe stores in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.

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