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10 Years Ago in Jeweller: October 2008

A snapshot of the industry events that made news headlines in the October 2008 issue of Jeweller.
Michael Hill enters US market

The story: Michael Hill International will make its debut into the US market after agreeing to purchase 17 Whitehall Jewellers stores.

All conditions for its purchase in Illinois and Missouri in the US have been satisfied, and the company has taken possession of the stores in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

According to a statement from the company, the purchase price is in the vicinity of $US5.5m.

Tiffany solid in Asia-Pacific

The story: Tiffany & Co. has attributed strong sales in the Asia-Pacific region to solid profit growth in its first half year.

According to a report in Inside Retailing, the high-end jeweller announced a group-wide sales increase of 11 per cent in the second quarter and a 21 per cent increase in net earnings.

“Sales in the Asia-Pacific region increased 17 per cent to $US214.2 million in the second quarter and 19 per cent to $436.3 million in the first half,” Tiffany said in a statement.

Tiffany’s global retail operations “once again demonstrated the ability to generate strong operating earnings growth despite weakness in certain individual country markets,” said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO.

Miller gets passionate about jewellery

The story: Sydney-based supplier Miller Diamonds has launched two new ranges of diamond-mounted jewellery at the recent Australian Jewellery Fair in Sydney.

A market-ready range of Passion8 jewellery extends the group’s work with Passion8 branded diamonds, while branded line Gebrüder Schaffrath uses unique diamond settings. 

The Passion8 collection represents the diamond supplier’s first step into finished pieces and includes white and yellow gold and platinum rings, pendants and earrings set with Passion8 diamonds.

In the Gebrüder Schaffrath collection, diamonds are held in place by a fine bar or two “special” claws that secure the top of the stones.

Zamel’s convicted of false pricing

The story: Ascot Four, the previous owner of the jewellery retailer Zamel’s, has been convicted in the Federal Court, Adelaide, of making false and misleading representations about the price of goods.

Following an investigation into Zamel’s Christmas 2005 catalogue by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions laid charges against the jewellery retailer on 20 December 2006.

According to an ACCC release, Zamel’s distributed 2.6 million Christmas catalogues in South Australia, ACT, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania.

The chargers were in respect of 11 jewellery items in the catalogue. Each of the 11 items featured a sale price next to a strike through the price.

The court found that Ascot Four engaged in conduct in breach of section 75AZC(1)(g) of the Trade Practices Act 1974, which prohibits false or misleading representations being made in relation to the price of a good.”






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