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CIRCA Buys Portero.Com

By Rob Bates, Senior Editor
Posted on March 12, 2014
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CIRCA, which calls itself the largest buyer of jewelry from private customers, has now bought something else: Portero.com, the site that sells authenticated pre-owned luxury goods.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The purchase, says CIRCA marketing director Natasha Cornstein, was “a year-plus in the making,” but became official only recently. The two brands now operate out of CIRCA’s headquarters in Manhattan.

Cornstein says that CIRCA will continue to sell items to different buyers.

“Portero will be one of our selling options and our first digital option,” she says. “But we will be maintaining relationships with our specialists around the world.”

The site, founded in 2004, sells pre-owned watches, jewelry, and other accessories, supplied by customers and authenticated by site staff. Its prior owner was private equity firm LFE Captial, and among its past funders has been Richemont, owner of Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

In other CIRCA news, former Zale CEO Mary Forte is no longer fulfilling the role of acting CEO, Cornstein says, adding: “She took us through a great transition process and remains an active member of our board.” Chief operating officer and chief financial officer Jayne Conway, a veteran of diverse businesses including Dunkin’ Donuts and Gulf Oil, now runs the company.

The company recently opened buying offices in Las Vegas and Boca Raton, Fla., so it now has 16 offices worldwide. This year, it plans to open offices in Short Hills, N.J., and Long Island, N.Y.

As part of the acquisition, consumers who sell to CIRCA will become “Portero Insiders,” and be offered special discounts and deals.  

The news was first revealed in the New York Post.

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