Cusano named CEO of Friedman’s

Friedman’s Inc. has named Sam Cusano its chief executive officer and he will be appointed to the company’s board of directors. Cusano joins Friedman’s after most recently serving as chairman and CEO of Service Merchandise Company, Inc.

“I am very excited to be joining Friedman’s, a company with a long and well-deserved tradition of offering high quality jewelry at market leading, value prices,” said Cusano. “I look forward to working with our Board of Directors as well as our talented associates and our vendors, most of whom I know, to build on the company’s already strong presence in the marketplace.”

“Sam is a proven retail leader who has earned respect not only in the jewelry industry, but also in the financial and retail industries at large,” said Allan Edwards, executive chairman of the Board of Directors of Friedman’s. “Friedman’s is fortunate to have someone of Sam’s caliber and I’m sure our vendors and associates will join me in welcoming him to Friedman’s.”

Cusano brings more than 25 years of high level retail experience to Friedman’s, with more than 10 years of experience in the jewelry industry with Service Merchandise. In addition Service Merchandise, he has held senior financial executive positions with retailers Revco Drug Stores, and G.C. Murphy Company.

“Having worked in the jewelry industry for more than 10 years, I am very familiar with Friedman’s and the unique market niche it has created in the industry,” Cusano said. “I’m here because I see a tremendous opportunity to help Friedman’s enhance its market position and build on a business model that can succeed for years to come.”

Cusano noted that the company’s strong niche in the jewelry market is the foundation on which he plans to build and that his leadership at Friedman’s would be “customer and store focused.” “We are all here to make certain that our stores serve our customers better than anyone else in the industry,” Cusano said.

“The Board is confident that we have the right person to restore our company and preserve Friedman’s rich tradition as a trusted value leader, while having the vision to realize the company’s full potential,” said Friedman’s Chairman Allan Edwards. “With Sam’s leadership, Friedman’s will build upon its current success and continue to grow as a market leader.”

Founded in 1920, Friedman’s Inc. is a leading specialty retailer based in Savannah, Georgia. The Company is the leading operator of fine jewelry stores located in power strip centers and regional malls.