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Michael Hill has announced all of its US stores will close
Michael Hill has announced all of its US stores will close

Michael Hill exits US; closes all stores

Michael Hill International (MHI) has announced it will close its “loss-making” jewellery stores in the US and focus on its core business in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

According to MHI CEO Phil Taylor, the company will close its nine US stores after it had ‘struggled’ with a reported $12 million loss over the last 12 months.


"The demographic in the US, where the wealth is held and what portion of the population have disposable income is quite a different to Canada, Australia and New Zealand."
Phil Taylor, MHI CEO

“Driving foot traffic has been challenging and the dynamics of the US economy is tougher,” Taylor said.

"The demographic in the US, where the wealth is held and what portion of the population have disposable income is quite a different to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”

He added a highly competitive market, costly advertising and “significant” industry pressure added to the decision. MHI will focus on its online sales, reducing its bricks-and mortar outlets and expanding its Emma & Roe range.

Demi-fine expansion

It is understood that MHI’s Emma & Roe range – which was launched in April 2014 and has 30 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand – would be repositioned in order to “target the more affordable ‘demi-fine jewellery’ for consumers.”

According to industry experts, demi-fine jewellery is a combination between fashion and fine jewellery – essentially up-market fashion jewellery.

A company statement added that the brand repositioning – which would include additional emphasis on omni-channels and ‘material reduction’  – would be trialled and tested this year.

“We see these actions as being the key pillars to driving ongoing sustainable business growth and attracting customers in new and engaging ways,” Taylor added.

As of February 2018, MHI had 172 stores in Australia, 53 in New Zealand and 83 in Canada.

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Thursday, 19 July, 2018 02:05pm
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