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Michael Hill stunned the Australian jewellery industry in the past month when it announced a $45.1 million deal to acquire its smaller chain store rival, Bevilles which, at the time, operated 26 stores across Victoria, NSW, and South Australia.
Michael Hill stunned the Australian jewellery industry in the past month when it announced a $45.1 million deal to acquire its smaller chain store rival, Bevilles which, at the time, operated 26 stores across Victoria, NSW, and South Australia.

Michael Hill and Bevilles: A tale of opposing branded watch strategies

Representatives at Michael Hill International have detailed intriguing further plans following the acquisition of retail rival Bevilles in April.

Michael Hill stunned the Australian jewellery industry in the past month when it announced a $45.1 million deal to acquire its smaller chain store rival, Bevilles which, at the time, operated 26 stores across Victoria, NSW, and South Australia.

The deal would have created some interesting discussions around the watch category. Michael Hill and Bevilles have historically been at odds when it comes to retail strategy surrounding timepieces; the former having dropped all branded watches many years ago in favour of its own ‘Michael Hill’ branded models while Bevilles has maintained a large offering of watch brands. 

“Michael Hill will continue to offer its own brand and also selected Seiko watches, whereas Bevilles will continue with a range of international brands.”
Spokesperson, Michael Hill

It stocks as many as 30 international brands, including but not limited to including Guess, Timex, Casio, Seiko, Jag, Citizen, Michael Kors, and Armani Exchange.

Michael Hill subsequently reintroduced Seiko to its stores alongside its own branded models.

Speaking with Jeweller, a spokesperson for Michael Hill said that despite the acquisition, there is no planned deviation from their respective watch retailing strategies.

“The two [retail] brands will be run separately with their own unique product ranging,” she said.

“Michael Hill will continue to offer its own brand and also selected Seiko watches, whereas Bevilles will continue with a range of international brands.”

What’s next?

During the announcement, Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken outlined plans to open more than 80 new Bevilles stores by 2028, including expansion in New Zealand and Canada.

Michael Hill operates more than 140 stores in Australia, with a further 47 in New Zealand and 86 in Canada.

Headshot-Robert-Fyfe-Chair-Micheal-Hill
Headshot-Robert-Fyfe-Chair-Micheal-Hill
“There are many synergies that will be unlocked over time across the two businesses. We see initial synergies coming from freight rates, consumer credit rates, and inventory sourcing.”
Robert Fyfe, Michael Hill

As part of the announcement, Michael Hill chair Robert Fyfe somewhat ambiguously discussed the ‘synergies’ that could be unlocked by collaboration between the two brands. 

The company offered further clarification on what the future holds for the brands.

“There are many synergies that will be unlocked over time across the two businesses. We see initial synergies coming from freight rates, consumer credit rates, and inventory sourcing,” the spokesperson said.

In the wake of the announcement, particular attention was given to the future of CEO Michelle Beville, the third generation of the family to operate the business.

Beville's appointment as a company ‘ambassador’ for the next two years will cover many areas.

“Michelle will continue to be involved to ensure a seamless integration of business, her input is important for the culture of the company,” she said.

“Accordingly, she will be consulted on strategic decisions, assist with celebrating new store openings, encouragement of the team performance, and endorsement of the Love by Michelle Beville products.”

Michael Hill recently announced a new gold recycling program to promote the sustainable use of precious metals.

More reading
Michael Hill launches new gold recycling scheme
Shock takeover: Michael Hill acquires Bevilles
Record sales for Michael Hill
Michael Hill reports “best Q2” in its history
Michael Hill celebrates iconic origin story
Double digit increase in sales for Michael Hill
Loyalty program boom for Michael Hill jewellery sales

 











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