Retailer News

Cartier continues U.S. expansion

Cartier, the international luxury goods retailer, continued its expansion in the United States this fall with the opening of two new boutiques. One is in Seattle, Cartier’s first entry into the Northwest. It was set to open in October at Pacific Place. The other, in Troy, Mich., was scheduled to open in November at the Somerset Collection.

Meanwhile, Cartier relocated its San Diego store to La Jolla, Calif., in mid-September, to a site formerly occupied by a Little Switzerland Jewelers store.

With the opening of the Seattle and Troy stores, there are now 23 Cartier locations in the United States. They are part of a global network of 185 stores (including three in Canada and six in the Caribbean) and 10,000 authorized dealers in 123 countries.

SAMUELS COMPLETES CHANGEOVER FROM BARRY’S

Samuels Jewelers, formerly known as Barry’s Jewelers, completed its multi-month changeover on Oct. 5 with its formal acquisition of all assets of Barry’s. The transaction completed Barry’s bankruptcy reorganization plan, approved earlier this year by the federal bankruptcy court in Los Angeles.

The new name of the 116-store operation “marks the completion of our metamorphosis,” says president Randy N. McCullough. In the past several months, the company relocated its headquarters from California to Austin, Texas. It also recently unveiled a new store design.

Samuels has a new assortment of higher-quality merchandise, while the company itself “has the capital structure to allow us to continue to improve on its objectives and expand the tremendous tradition of Samuels Jewelers.”

Samuels was initially capitalized on Oct. 2 with $15 million in new equity. Barry’s former bondholders exchanged their bonds for equity in Samuels. Former unsecured creditors of Barry’s will get 15 cents on the dollar for the balance of their claims. The lenders who constituted Barry’s former secured financial facility will be paid about $57.9 million in full satisfaction of their notes. Proceeds for those payments came from proceeds from the new equity, cash on hand, and about $32 million under Samuels’ $50 million working capital facility, which closed Oct. 2.

The new company name is the hub of the firm’s strategy to leverage brand awareness and increase customer loyalty by converting its five trade names to “Samuels.” Currently, it sells fine jewelry and watches in 116 stores in 19 states under the trade names Samuels, Schubach, Mission, A. Hirsch & Son, and Hatfield Jewelers.