Indian sightholder Gitanjali Group recently acquired Rogers Jewelers, one of the oldest family-run jewelry chains in the United States. The company purchased Samuels Jewelers last year.
Rogers operates 46 stores in 11 states, with current revenues of $80.6 million. Gitanjali paid $20 million for a 100 percent stake in the retailer and plans to invest an additional $15 million to $20 million.
With the Rogers acquisition, Gitanjali now has about 160 stores, including 110 from Samuels. It recently bought a number of one- and two-store operations and converted them to the Samuels name. Its goal is 175 stores by the first half of next year and 400 stores by 2009. To that end, it plans two major retail acquisitions in the next 18 months, says Nehal Modi, CEO of Gitanjali USA.
While Samuels and Rogers will function as stand-alone brands, Modi says management headquarters will be merged by the end of next year. “We don’t know yet which one will take over … until we can assess the management and business practices [of each].”
Samuels is a mass-merchant operation and Rogers is more upscale, but Gitanjali says it’s primarily targeting the Rogers customer. “We hope that 65 to 75 percent [of our business] will come from the niche consumer that we believe Zale and Sterling are neglecting,” Modi says. “We believe that customer, regardless of economic downturn, will always have money.”
Eventually Gitanjali wants to supply about 50 percent of the product stocked by Samuels and Rogers. The company also is close to completing a wholesale acquisition that will fit under the Gitanjali umbrella.
Modi adds that the company’s objective for the next three to four years is to initiate “powerful brands” on the wholesale level. “Now that we have our own store presence we can use them as a proving ground,” he says.
In a statement, Gitanjali Group chairman Mehul Choski said his company will “aggressively pursue any such opportunities that will synergize with the company’s philosophy to add incremental value to ensuring greater shareholder value and significantly boosting the company’s bottom line.”