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Jewelry Group Names Hall of Fame Honorees

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They’ll be recognized on July 24.

(Press Release) POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced its Hall of Fame honorees for the association’s annual Awards for Excellence gala, to be held July 24. The gala will return to Pier 60 on the Chelsea Piers in New York City. 

  • Cecilia Gardner, president, CEO, and general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, will receive the WJA Lifetime Achievement Award. 
  • Michael Pollak, CEO of Hyde Park Jewelers, will receive the Ben Kaiser Award.
  • Day’s Jewelers will receive the Corporate Award.

Gardner has served the Jewelers Vigilance Committee for nearly two decades. Her leadership of the not-for-profit trade association helped put JVC at the forefront of some of the most complex issues related to compliance and ethics in the jewelry industry. INSTORE GardnerGardnerGardner served as general counsel to the World Diamond Council from 2000-2015, an industry group that worked with governments and non-governmental organizations to craft the Kimberley Process and System of Warranties. She also became general counsel for the U.S. Kimberley Process Authority. During her tenure, Gardner also led the JVC in efforts concerning the under-karating of precious metals, the disclosure of diamond and gemstone treatments, the standards used by appraisers, the enactment of anti-money laundering programs, and a comprehensive review of the FTC Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries. She also served on many industry boards.

With over 40 years in retail management, developing seven luxury jewelry and watch stores, Pollak has focused most of his resources on a combination of business strategy and vision, philanthropy and the omni-channel future of a disrupted retail marketplace. INSTORE PollakPollakPollak also founded Diamonds in the Rough, raising nearly $2.5 million to support the efforts of youth-based non-profits and local charities. He was named a National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame award winner in 2008, and an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. He has served on the boards of Diamond Empowerment Fund, Jewelers of America and Natural Color Diamond Association, and he is a former president of Luxury Jewelers Resource Group.

Day’s Jewelers is a family-owned jewelry chain with seven jewelry stores throughout Maine and New Hampshire. The company has been in business for over 100 years and since 1988 has been owned by Jim, Kathy and Jeff Corey, with David Harris serving as president. INSTORE DayThe executive team at Day’s Jewelers (L-R): Jim Corey, David Harris, Kathy Corey and Jeff Corey.Known for its core set of values, Day’s Jewelers is a standout in the jewelry industry for its integrity, transparency and responsible business practices and is a certified member of Responsible Jewellery Council. The company has received several honors, including: the 2016 “Retailer of the Year” by the Retail Association of Maine, America’s Best Jewelers recognition by National Jeweler, and the 2009 WJA Awards for Excellence Retailer of the Year.
At its annual gala, WJA also will present Awards for Excellence in retail, design, manufacturing, sales, marketing and communications and editorial categories.

“It is my utmost pleasure to be a part of honoring such a distinguished group of individuals during the 2017 Awards for Excellence,” said Brandee Dallow, WJA President. “Returning to Chelsea Piers with this trio of award winners is most certainly going to make for a fabulous evening.”

At its gala, WJA brings together industry leaders for a social evening that raises money for scholarships and grants for deserving women entering or working in our industry. A Silent Auction will again be mounted to raise additional funds for these important causes. Tickets and sponsorships will go on sale later this year.

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4 Dead After Jewelry-Store Robbery Leads to Police Chase and Shootout (Video)

2 suspects were killed, along with a UPS driver and a bystander.

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A jewelry-story robbery in South Florida led to a police chase and shootout that left four people dead, The Associated Press reports.

Police responded to a silent alarm just after 4 p.m. at Regent Jewelers in Coral Gables. Officers arrived to find shots being fired, with two suspects still on site, according to AP.

The robbers took off in a truck and shortly afterward carjacked a UPS truck, authorities said. A harrowing police chase ensued, continuing for 20 miles and ending at a busy intersection in Miramar.

When police approached the UPS truck, a shootout erupted, leaving the two suspects dead, along with the UPS driver and a person described as an “innocent bystander” in a nearby vehicle, AP reports.

“We have just began to process the crime scene,” FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro was quoted saying. “As you can imagine, this is going to be a very complicated crime scene.”

A jewelry-store employee was reportedly injured, but it’s unknown whether she was shot. It’s also unknown what, if anything, was taken from the store.

Read more at The Associated Press

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Truck Slams Jewelry Store in $200,000 Burglary — Watch the Video

The culprits left the vehicle at the scene.

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Burglars slammed a truck into a jewelry store in Los Altos, CA, and took $200,000 worth of merchandise, police say.

Marcel Jewelry Design was targeted early Monday morning, ABC 7 reports.

The stolen truck rammed the front window of the store three times, finally making it through. The burglars got out and broke jewelry cases with a hammer. They left after less than a minute.

The truck was left at the scene.

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Jewelers Report Bright Start to the 2019 Holiday Season

Thanks to higher average tickets and solid foot traffic.

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INDEPENDENT JEWELERS ACROSS the country reported a strong start to the 2019 holiday season with one in three saying they were ahead of last year’s numbers thanks to higher average tickets and solid foot traffic, especially on Small Business Saturday.

“Customers started shopping earlier, which is a blessing considering the shorter holiday this year,” said Rick Nichols, owner of Nassau Jewelry in Fernandina Beach, FL.

Dennis Petimezas, owner of Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry in Johnstown, PA, said he noticed some caution among early shoppers but they are “bringing in the big-ticket items when they do make a decision.”

More than a third of the jewelers who answered our first 2019 holiday season mini survey reported an average sale that was in excess of $600, while 37 percent said it was up from last year. Only 9 percent of jewelers said their average ticket was down. Diamond fashion jewelry, particularly diamond stud earrings, was selling well.

While only a small portion of jewelers described the start to the vital holiday period as “disappointing” (12%) or “dismal” (2%) few were getting ahead of themselves. Increased competition, especially from big online retailers such as Amazon, means most jewelers are expecting to put in some long shifts over the next four weeks, while offering extra personalized service. Then there are the vagaries of the weather.

“This is my 45th year and it’s always unpredictable,” said Larry W. Hall, owner of Baker & Baker Jewelers in Marietta, OH. “I have ‘jacked up’ my staff on the attention-to-detail factors, i.e., look into the customer’s eyes often and, anyone walking in is greeted in seconds. I am looking at the security camera to see if we I recognize the customer to possibly greet them by name … ‘Hello, Mary and Jim!’ Happy holidays…’ and I offer to clean their jewelry and now our sales staff has a captive audience to sell to.”

The first 2019 Holiday Season Mini survey was taken by more than 100 independent jewelers who are part of our Brain Squad readers group. We will send out more surveys over the course of the holiday season. Look out for the results each Tuesday.

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