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Brand And Retail News: Gumuchian’s Digital Initiative; Signet Targets Independents; More September 06, 2017 (0 comments)


Gumuchian Goes Digital

New York, NY—Gumuchian wants every woman who steps into your retail store to feel like a Gumuchian Woman: effortlessly chic, hard at work on her passions, a devoted friend and family member, and always gracious, witty and engaging. The women at Gumuchian want to make it easy for retailers to not only spot these clients and help close sales but to increase general traffic in your store, so Jodi Goldsmith and Myriam Gumuchian are spearheading a new endeavor for the company, in partnership with Smart Age, a “Google Premier Partner” full service digital marketing agency also headquartered in New York City. Retailers who join this exciting new venture will have access to the Gumuchian landing page and several other perks, outlined below. 

The service is ideal for retailers who do not have the time or manpower to invest in large scale, yet targeted creative content for marketing, says Goldsmith. Gumuchian has already done the formative and visionary work for stores, complete with stunning imagery and lifestyle presentations.  Some perks include:

Retailers with an existing co-op partnership with Gumuchian can get in touch with the PR Department to explore options. Stores who carry Gumuchian jewelry but are not invested in the co-op can still participate. And new accounts looking to take advantage of this exciting opportunity are also encouraged to get in touch with Gumuchian. The digital campaign begins Fall 2017.


Has Signet Turned A Corner?

Akron, OH—Signet, the behemoth parent of Kay, Jared, and Zales last week pleased analysts on two counts: one, that its year-long sales slump came to an end with a slight overall increase in comparable sales; and two, that it will add leading diamond e-tailer James Allen to its stable of retail brands.

In a $328 million all-cash transaction, Signet is buying R2Net, parent of James Allen. R2Net already has provided back-end support for online diamond sales in Signet’s Jared division, and new Signet CEO Virginia Drosos says the company will be exploring synergies between the two: how James Allen’s digital technologies can help all Signet brands, and a possible brick and mortar showroom for the e-tailer. The acquisition will give Signet a tremendous boost in the digital space and, in turn, James Allen will benefit from Signet resources, better positioning it to compete with Blue Nile, its bigger rival in the e-tail space.

Signet also has independent regional jewelers in its competitive crosshairs as it announced plans to transform its higher-end Jared division with more branded merchandise and other ways to “elevate its point of view” as part of its plan to better differentiate its different retail brands. Zales will bring in fashion merchandise at a higher price point, while Kay will reinforce and expand its core bridal business. Overall, the company will remain promotional, however.

Signet also announced an overall 1.4% rise in comps for the second quarter, reversing four consecutive quarters of declines. Same-store sales at Kay, Jared, and Zales all were up modestly (2.9%, 0.8%, and 0.6% respectively). Comps at Zale Canada, which operates under the Peoples and Mappins banners, were robust, rising 9%, as were sales at the low-end Piercing Pagoda division, which saw a 7% gain. Sales at Signet’s regional brands were down 9.5%, Gordon’s fell 10.8%, and sales at its UK brands were down 3.4%. The company has had a net loss of 53 doors so far this year, with 98 stores closing and 45 opening.


Vahan Jewelry Creates First Men's Line 

New York, NY--Vahan Jewelry has introduced its first-ever men's collection, dubbed “Homme.” Vahan Homme is versatile, contemporary, and delivers fashion savoir faire for men. The collection includes rings, pendants, and a unique line of reversible bracelets. 

Greg Der Calousdian, Vahan vice president of design, said, “Many men feel the need to differentiate themselves from the masses and choose to do that through self-expression. Those of us who are more fashion-conscious will often do it with accessories. That’s why I felt it was time to really bring Vahan into the world of men’s jewelry. Our Homme collection is geared to add a little pop to a man’s style. I’ve created brand new designs for men such as the Pyramid collection, as well as put a more masculine twist on existing Vahan styles like the Buckle bracelet and Tiger cuff."

Bracelets from the Pyramid collection of Vahan's new Homme line of men's jewelry.


American Designer Recognized By Vogue Italia

New York, NY—Jewelry designer Kristin Hanson has been named one of Vogue Italia’s “US Protagonists.” The annual program highlights a selection of up-and-coming US-based contemporary designers who are “shaking the international fine jewelry scene – a veritable ‘who’s who’ of renegade artists.” As part of this year’s program, Vogue Italia’s September issue will feature a partnership with Let Elephants Be Elephants, in which the US Protagonists were asked to design fine jewelry out of a tagua nut, a safe alternative to elephant ivory, to communicate the devastating issue of elephants extinction.

Looking to Pop Art for inspiration, Hanson designed a choker featuring an American icon: a classic donut, sprinkled with colorful gemstones and studded with diamond icing, made from 100% recycled platinum, lab-grown diamonds, leather, and a tagua nut. The piece is named “An Ode To Wayne Thiebaud.”

"My study of Pop art began years ago,” said Hanson. “When approached by Vogue Italia to create a piece with the tagua nut, I was immediately inspired to design something everyone can relate to, an iconic feel good symbol, a classic American donut. I have always been interested in using platinum in my couture work because of the richness of color and the purity of the metal," she continued.

Platinum Guild International is a sponsor of Vogue Italia’s US Protagonists. “We are honored to be a part of this project as it supports the work of up-and-coming designers as well as a wonderful charity,” said Jenny Luker, president of PGI-USA. “We know that design drives sales and we continue to look for innovative ways to inspire and support designers who work in platinum.”

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