Borsheims’ Low-Cost Structure Beats Other Jewelry Chains, Buffett Says

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett is urging investors to buy from Berkshire-owned Borsheims, claiming the cost structure of the Omaha, Neb.–based jeweler beats that of other jewelers.

“I’ve looked at the figures for all publicly owned jewelry companies, and the contrast with Borsheims is startling,” he said in the message to shareholders, which also included a pitch for his Geico auto insurance company. “Our one-store operation, with its huge volume, enables us to operate with costs that are fully 15–20 percentage points below those incurred by our competitors. We pass the benefits of this low-cost structure along to our customers.”

He didn’t mention if that includes the two jewelry chains his company owns: Helzberg Diamonds and Ben Bridge.

He also intimated that Borsheims is seeking to expand its business beyond its home base.

“Every year Borsheims sends out thousands of selections to customers who want a long-distance opportunity to inspect what it offers and decide which, if any, item they’d like to purchase,” he said. “We do a huge amount of business in this low-key way.”

In its third-quarter financial results, Berkshire said that revenue from its retail operations, which consist of its jewelry holdings as well as furniture, toy, and kitchen retailers, rose 5 percent to $48 million over the prior year.

JCK News Director