Marks & Spencer & Fine Jewelry

By George, I think they’ve got it! Marks & Spencer, a classic English purveyor of everything from cashmere to carrots, now sells karats too. M&S, in keeping with a general shift to a more upscale image, recently launched a fine jewelry department. The quintessential English emporium populi recognized a basic concept of selling gold jewelry sooner than its U.S. counterparts. The gold jewelry counters aren’t on the main floor next to the bags, belts, scarves and cosmetics. Instead, they’re right in the middle of women’s apparel, next to the suits and dresses. “We thought we might benefit from selling fine jewelry as a fashion accessory or an impulse purchase rather than as a destination stop, as most jewelry stores in the U.K. do,” says M&S buyer Joan Hackett. The concept is working. The company’s jewelry sales are way above projections, and that’s before

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