Retailer News

CARTIER OPENS THIRD BOUTIQUE IN FLORIDA

Cartier recently opened a new boutique in Boca Raton. The retailer already has boutiques in Palm Beach, Bal Harbour and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.The new boutique, located in Town Center, includes jewelry, watches, silver, crystal, porcelain, pens, stationery, leather goods, fragrances, accessories and other gifts.Cartier now has 172 stores and 10,000 authorized dealers in 123 countries.

HSN NAMES OFFICERS

James G. Gallagher was named vice president, general counsel and secretary of HSN Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla. Gallagher also is general counsel and executive vice president of the Home Shopping Network, a subsidiary of HSN Inc.

Jed B. Trosper was named vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of HSN Inc. He also is chief financial officer and executive vice president of the Home Shopping Network.

Mary Ellen Pollin was named vice president of human resources for HSN Inc. and is executive vice president of administration for The Home Shopping Network. Brian J. Feldman was appointed controller for HSN Inc., a position he holds at the Home Shopping Network.

H. Steven Holtzman and Elizabeth A. Waters were named assistant secretaries. They also serve as senior counsel for The Home Shopping Network. Richard Lyon and Lynn E. Krall were named assistant treasurers. They also hold financial positions at The Home Shopping Network.

HSN previously announced the appointments of Barry Diller as chairman and chief executive officer and James G. Held as vice chairman. In addition to the Home Shopping Network, HSN Inc. is the parent of Silver King Broadcasting and SF Broadcasting. The Home Shopping Network reaches about 70 million cable, broadcast and satellite households. It also owns the Internet Shopping Network, one of the largest electronic retailers on the Internet. Silver King Broadcasting, the sixth largest television broadcast group in the nation, owns and operates 12 independent full-power UHF stations in 11 markets and holds minority interests in stations in seven other markets. SF Broadcasting owns and operates VHF Fox affiliates in Honolulu; New Orleans; Mobile, Alabama; and Green Bay, Wis.

BIG JAPANESE RETAILER SUFFERS BANKRUPTCY

In one of the largest bankruptcies ever to hit the jewelry industry, a large Japanese retailing chain was liquidated by court order in January, leaving debts of some $550 million. Koko Yamaoaka, headquartered in Tokyo, had 84 stores and more than 50 leased departments serving the low- to medium-price jewelry market. It had been struggling with slow sales and mounting debt for several years. A Japanese federal court ordered the com-pany liquidated, according to local press reports, because it was too deeply in debt to survive being placed in receivership (similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.).

The root of the problem, say reports, was the company’s attempts to shore up flagging sales by promising to buy back each diamond it sold – at the full purchase price – if a customer requested it. With the Japanese economy mired in recession and the stock market taking another slide, customers cashed in their diamonds in far greater numbers than anticipated.

Japanese wholesalers and gem dealers now fear the bankruptcy may trigger a wave of secondary bankruptcies within the trade because losses were so huge. One large gem dealer says the bankruptcy may further undermine the public’s faith in diamond jewelry and the trade’s confidence in expectations of a slow recovery this year.