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This week: Why shoppers still prefer brick-and-mortar to online. Presidential watches. Is Tiffany Trump the new Ivanka? All below.   Court upholds Leviev arbitration award against Julius Klein.   Bulgari, Tory Burch, and Jarden vets Join Tiffany & Co. board. - Could “...

Rob Bates | February 24, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Last week, I wrote that Blue Nile needed to move away from its core business of value-priced engagement rings. For a long time, its executives seemingly agreed and embraced proprietary brands—at least until omnichannel became the big trend, and then the business moved toward webrooms....

Rob Bates | February 24, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Usually, the makeup of a company’s board doesn’t get much attention. But Tiffany’s addition of three new directors is definitely intruguing.  All three are veteran CEOs with impressive pedigrees. Francesco Trapani is the former CEO of Bulgari and once headed LVMH’s watches and...

Rob Bates | February 23, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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This week: South Dakota jewelry company closes, after owner’s suicide. Retail leaders mixed on border tax. And a reason to buy an engagement ring, even if you’re not engaged. All below.   $45K Vacheron Constantin produced for Hodinkee sells out in half hour. - My thoughts: Lessons...

Rob Bates | February 17, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Today, Blue Nile announced that its acquisition by Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC has been completed. Going forward, it will no longer be a public company. When companies retreat from the public markets, it makes it harder for observers like me to comment on them. So here are...

Rob Bates | February 17, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Hodinkee's recent offering of a limited edition, specially designed-for-the-site $45,000­ Vacheron Constantin turned into a pretty stunning success—it’s not often you make $1.6 million in sales in a half hour. That quick haul, and the publicity it’s generated, will certainly pique the interest of...

Rob Bates | February 16, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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This week: Last year was a good one for the U.S. jewelry industry. Two jewelers arrested on drug charges. And Vacheron Constantin sells online. All below.   Tiffany CEO Cumenal resigns, replaced by successor Kowalski. - My thoughts: Changing too fast—or not fast enough? -...

Rob Bates | February 10, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Ivanka Trump’s once-popular fine jewelry brand seems to no longer be producing new product and might be phasing the business out, say retailers who carry the line. “They are only selling what they have left,” says Harvey Rovinsky, president of Philadelphia-based Bernie Robbins Jewelers...

Rob Bates | February 10, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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Sunday was a big day for Tiffany & Co. It debuted its first-ever Super Bowl ad, starring Lady Gaga, the game’s halftime performer. It was also the day Tiffany CEO Frederic Cumenal announced he was resigning. The announcement was oddly timed—you don’t usually see big corporate...

Rob Bates | February 9, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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This week: Hudson’s Bay might buy Macy's. How James Allen saw a big jump in sales. And why Trump doesn’t wear a wedding ring. All below.   1,669 U.S. jewelry businesses closed in 2016.   NRF: Valentine’s Day spending expected to decline.   Signet shuffle: New...

Rob Bates | February 3, 2017 | Cutting Remarks
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I had not seen this story till just now and today is Feb. 22, 2017....

As much as I have my issues with Trump, this case does not seem to...

That is a beautiful pearl! I'm glad it didn't get scratched by the...

This is just a start. I feel Swiss watch directors and executives are...