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Karin Adcock's House of Brands has secured local distribution for Alex and Ani
Karin Adcock's House of Brands has secured local distribution for Alex and Ani

Adcock launches Alex and Ani in Australia

Former Pandora Australia president Karin Adcock will return to the jewellery industry once more, having secured the distribution rights to high-profile US brand Alex and Ani.

After lengthy negotiations, Adcock’s business, House of Brands (HOB), has been appointed Australian and New Zealand distributor of Alex and Ani.

Specialising in collectible charm bangles, Alex and Ani claims to be one of the ‘fastest growing’ jewellery and accessories businesses in the US. It has almost 2,600 stockists in its home country as well as 700 outlets in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Japan, Canada, Mexico and other territories.

While the final deal was concluded just last week, Adcock had been working in the background to ensure that a number of independent jewellery retailers in Sydney and Melbourne would start selling the range before Christmas.

* Update * Tuesday 8 December 2015 

Following Jeweller’s story yesterday, Adcock said she had received numerous calls from retailers making enquiries to become Alex and Ani stockists. Commenting on the response, Adcock said, “I am thrilled to have received so many telephone calls about Alex and Ani and returning to the jewellery industry.”

In addition, the Australian Alex and Ani online store – which was launched to coincide with the distribution announcement – had already transacted many purchases.

The brand’s senior vice president of sales, Daniel Sills, and vice president of international business development, Omar Ajaj, visited Australia in mid November to learn more about the local market and meet with the three jewellery buying groups.

Alex and Ani first approached Adcock about distribution two years ago; however, she said it wasn’t until November 2014 after visiting the US headquarters that discussions became serious.

Karin Adcock, House of Brands CEO
Karin Adcock, House of Brands CEO

“I went to the US again in September this year, which was when I was really able to see the synergy that existed between the Alex and Ani brand and what I believed were important factors in developing a brand in the local market,” she explained.

“The collection is made from recycled materials and at the heart of Alex and Ani is charity, respect and co-operation – all values which are very important to me. The prospects for Australia and New Zealand, a nation open to embracing new concepts and in tune with social responsibility, are very exciting.”

Adcock confirmed that a larger rollout of the collection would take place in early 2016, including the opening of brand-only stores in Sydney and Melbourne. An Australian Alex and Ani online store is also now in operation.

When asked why she believed the offering would work well in the local region, Adcock commented: “I think Alex and Ani is a fun brand. It’s more than just a jewellery offering; it’s a whole lifestyle.

“What generally happens is that customers start by choosing a bangle with a meaning that encapsulates who they are and where they want to be in life, and they build their collections from that. The brand is very strong from a gift-giving sense as well.”

Ajaj told Jeweller that he and Stills were quite excited about the brand’s expansion following their trip to Australia.

Omar Ajaj, Alex and Ani vice president of international business development
Omar Ajaj, Alex and Ani vice president of international business development

“From our perspective, the shopping centres [in Australia] are a great mix of brands and the market itself is filled with the right consumers,” he said.

“We noticed a void in the market for ‘meaning-making’ products but strong retailers with a passion for brands, most supported by buying groups who understand their business, the market and the future of what is to come.”

Ajaj also expressed excitement about working with HOB, adding that the supplier was the “right partner to launch us into Australia”.

“Their [HOB] knowledge of the market and industry as well as the amazing network of retailers, real-estate contacts and pure passion for the Alex and Ani brand will certainly make a difference. We are eager to bring the consumer and retail partners exciting new product that reflects their individualism and meanings within their lives.”

Adcock back for more

News of Adcock’s return to the jewellery industry with Alex And Ani might surprise many people given it was announced in January 2014 that HOB would close its jewellery division to concentrate on other products – just five months after the business entered the market.

At the time, HOB had distribution rights for Danish brands Julie Sandlau, byBiehl and X by Trollbeads.

Alex and Ani was founded by Carolyn Rafaelian in 2004. In addition to collectible charm bangles, the offering consists of necklaces, rings and earrings.

Rafaelian told Jeweller earlier this year that the business had experienced significant expansion; total sales increased more than 11,000 per cent between 2010 and 2014 and its international compound annual rate rose 5,221 per cent between 2011 and 2014.

In 2014, the brand was ranked number three in INC. 5000’s America’s Fastest Growing Retailers list and number 53 in its America’s Fastest Growing Companies list.

The collection

More reading
Karin Adcock’s House of Brands to close
Karin Adcock shock return to jewellery industry
Pandora’s Karin Adcock calls time


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