Michael Hill Still Struggling in United States

Despite success elsewhere, Australian jewelry chain Michael Hill admits it is finding the United States a challenging market.

In September 2016, the retailer switched its U.S. management, putting the entire North American division under the control of Brett Halliday, who led the company’s successful expansion into Canada.

But the U.S. division, now nine years old, is still struggling to find its niche, the company admitted in its latest financial report: In the first half of the year, comps at Michael Hill’s nine U.S. stores dropped 8.5 percent.

“Achieving success [in the United States] is harder [than other markets],” said company chair Emma Hill in her annual shareholder address. “We are not prepared to expand our footprint in the market until we are confident we have the right operating model, product range, and brand positioning.”

The company also indicated it is looking at the U.S. business more critically, saying it will “determine if we can achieve the level of productivity required for success in this market.”

(Image courtesy of Michael Hill Jeweler)

JCK News Director