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Signet Taking ‘Additional Steps’ Following Claims of Sexual Harassment, Discrimination

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“Continuous review and improvement” is the goal.

Signet Jewelers Ltd., parent of Sterling Jewelers, announced that it is taking “additional steps” in the areas of equal employment opportunity and workplace culture.

The announcement follows news that about 250 former employees of Sterling Jewelers, which operates Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Kay Jewelers and Zales, are alleging that the company culture was rife with sexual discrimination and harassment. The claims are part of an arbitration case that dates to 2008.

“We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind and we want to be sure that the framework we have in place for reporting, and responding to any such issues is robust and effective,” Signet (NYSE: SIG) Chairman Todd Stitzer said in a press release. “It is the intention of this Board and the senior management team to make certain that our culture and our Team Members are fully supported at every level, because culture and people have helped make Signet the leading company in our industry.”

The new steps include:

  • Formation of a new board committee focused on respect in the workforce that will focus on programs and policies to support the advancement and development of our female team members. The directors who will serve on the new committee include Virginia Drosos, CEO of Assurex Health and prior group president of Procter and Gamble; Marianne Miller Parrs, formerly executive vice president and chief financial officer of International Paper Co.; Eugenia Ulasewicz, who served as president of Burberry plc America division; and Helen McCluskey, formerly CEO of The Warnaco Group. “These women comprise all of Signet’s female directors and all are very familiar with the company since they joined the Board between 2008 and 2014,” according to the release.
  • The new committee will appoint an independent consultant to conduct a thorough review, which will cover current and future company policies and practices regarding equal opportunity and workplace expectations, including those covering non-harassment, training and reporting, investigation and non-retaliation.
  • The committee will also establish an independent ombudsperson office to act as an informal third-party avenue to provide confidential advice to employees to address concerns regarding issues in the workforce and to provide options and strategies to assist them in resolution of workplace concerns. “The Ombudsperson is in addition to Signet’s currently available resources and will provide additional assurance to Team Members and management that fairness and respect will always be the touchstones of how we treat each other,” according to the release.

Stitzer said the company already has “consistently worked to improve policies and practices around equal employment opportunity and workplace culture, resulting in better than benchmark female representation in leadership positions.”

“We know that our commitment requires continuous review and improvement, so as we continue our quest to be an employer of choice, we are taking a number of additional steps to ensure our policies and practices are functioning as intended and to identify areas where we can further improve,” he said.

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Signet also released its financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 28. 

For the quarter, same-store sales were down 4.5 percent. Operating income, at $399.2 million, was up 1.6 percent.

For the year, same-store sales declined 1.9 percent. Total sales declined 2.2 percent to $6.4 billion.

Mark Light, CEO of Signet, said: “Signet had a challenging fourth quarter and fiscal year, but we delivered top-and-bottom lines for the fourth quarter within our revised expectations. This was driven principally by performance from select categories and collections including diamond fashion jewelry, bracelets, and earrings.

“We are adapting to a challenging retail environment and weak mall traffic. Given the importance of an omni-channel experience to jewelry customers, we have an intensive focus on an omni-channel approach to customer service supported by a significant increase in resources directed to our digital ecosystem.”

 

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Power-Cutting Burglars Target Jewelry Stores in Northeast

The trend has spread to New Jersey and Connecticut.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports that power-cutting thieves have been targeting jewelry stores in the Northeast.

The latest incidents took place in New Jersey and Connecticut. The pattern has played out in many states, with burglars cutting jewelry stores’ power lines in order to disable alarm systems, but previously had occurred mainly in the West, Midwest and South.

These are the incidents the JSA reported in a bulletin to retailers:

Morris Plains, NJ, July 27

At 6:45 p.m. on a Sunday evening two males and one female cut the power to a retail jewelry store, but police reported they left without trying to get inside the store. The same gang was reported to have done the same thing at jewelry stores in Sparta, NJ, on July 26, 2019, and in Bedminster, NJ.

Darien, CT, Aug. 8

At 11:20 p.m. suspects turned the power off at a downtown jewelry store at the outside electrical box. The power interruption tripped the burglar alarm, and the suspects waited for the police response. On Saturday, August 10, the same suspects returned at 6:20 p.m. and again turned the power off. It is believed that the suspects again waited to observe police response, and to wait for the back-up battery to be exhausted. However, no entry was made to the store. 

Fairfield, CT, Aug. 11

Between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 11, a retail jeweler received a call from his alarm company regarding the loss of power to his store. The jeweler discovered the electrical meter cover had been pried off the box. The police responded and no suspects were observed.

JSA reported in June that it was aware of over 50 cases in which burglars had cut power lines.

The burglars cut the power lines soon after a store has closed for the night, then wait nearby to see the response by the owner or police, according to JSA.

The burglars have not carried out safe burglaries at all of the stores.

 

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Tiffany Rolls Out Men’s Jewelry Collection

The line is ‘centered on craftsmanship as the foundation of our company.’

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Tiffany & Co. announced the launch of its Tiffany Men’s collections, including jewelry, watches and home and accessories products.

Tiffany Men’s includes two collections: Tiffany 1837 Makers and Diamond Point.

These pieces are from the Tiffany & Co.’s men’s collection. Photo: Roe Etheridge

“Tiffany Men’s is centered on craftsmanship as the foundation of our company,” said Reed Krakoff, chief artistic officer for Tiffany. “Tiffany 1837 Makers is a nod to the workmanship and time-honored techniques used in creating jewelry — the idea that there’s a person behind each object.”

According to a press release:

Embodying Tiffany’s craftsmanship heritage, the Tiffany 1837 Makers collection is inspired by the jeweler’s hollowware workshop and its tradition of handcrafting sports trophies. Designers experimented with concave and convex forms, flat edges and motifs evocative of utilitarian hardware when creating jewelry, barware and more. Stamped with symbols like “T & CO MAKERS,” “NY” and “AG925,” Tiffany 1837 Makers honors Tiffany’s silversmithing legacy and the fact that the luxury house set the U.S. standard for sterling silver (925 per 1,000 parts silver). The made-to-order Tiffany 1837 Makers trophy ring honors Tiffany’s 160-history of making sports trophies by hand and makes a bold statement and adds edge to any outfit.

Diamond Point, on the other hand, “represents the elevated, classic end of the style spectrum with a strong, graphic pattern.”

The company states:

This motif appears as a subtle accent or a prominent overlay on jewelry and Home & Accessories pieces like the Diamond Point rectangle pendant in sterling silver, cuff in sterling silver and cocktail mixer in lead crystal and sterling silver. Most of the Diamond Point jewelry designs are die struck and hand polished to achieve the distinctive textured motif.

Diamond Point takes a more modern and graphic approach, utilizing a pattern inspired by a diamond’s culet that ties back to our diamond authority.

The New York Post reports that the launch is “part of the Tiffany’s strategy to attract younger shoppers and pump up sales.”

In all, Tiffany Men’s includes about 100 pieces. Jewelry rices range from $200 to $15,000.

Among the accessories items on offer are ice tongs and cocktail shakers.

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Jeweler Sentenced for Theft, Ordered to Pay $85,000 in Restitution

He’ll have to serve 4 years of probation.

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A Colorado jeweler who was accused with stealing gold, jewelry and money from customers has been ordered to pay restitution and serve a probationary sentence.

David Kushnir, who operated D & D Jewelers in Thornton, pleaded guilty to theft, KMGH-TV reports. He was accused of stealing from nine customers, according to the news outlet.

The court ordered Kushnir to pay about $85,000 in restitution and serve four years of economic crime supervised probation.

In January, authorities accused Kushnir of defrauding customers after they brought their diamonds, watches and other jewelry to him for repair or consignment sale at his business. It was also alleged that he sold fake diamonds to three victims.

The Sentinel newspaper reported in January that in one case, he was accused of removing a movement piece worth $40,000 from a Rolex watch he was asked to repair and then substituting “a Chinese piece.”

Read more at KMGH-TV

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