Retailer News

C.D. PEACOCK WINS LALIQUE CONTEST

Four dramatic windows featuring Lalique items won first prize in Lalique’s nationwide display contest for C.D. Peacock Jewelers, Northbrook, Ill. Winners of the contest received a trip to Paris hosted by Lalique, a visit to its factory and a private lunch with Lalique Vice President Michel Iltis.

Each of C.D. Peacock’s four displays featured a theme (nudes, birds, cats and leaves) that corresponded to Lalique items and designs. C.D. Peacock is the oldest retailer in Chicago. In addition to its Lalique collection, it is known for its rare Tiffany table lamps and other decorative art by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

MASS MERCHANTS RETRENCH

Spring ’96 has been a season of retrenchment for some leading mass merchandisers.

Service Merchandise Inc. trimmed about 50 jobs from its headquarters staff in Nashville, Tenn. The move was part of a program to cut costs and improve profitability. The company, which employs more than 1,300 people at its headquarters, saw profits drop 20% in 1995.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, saw the credit rating on some $8.6 billion of long-term debt downgraded one level to Aa2 in early March by Moody’s Investors Service. That followed the company’s announcement of its first-ever drop in quarterly earnings and a slowdown in same-store sales growth. The new Moody’s rating is comparable to one already assigned to Wal-Mart by Standard & Poor’s.

Kmart Corp. announced it would close 15 stores by the end of May and eliminate 1,500 jobs. These are among 50 stores the company plans to close this year. A company spokesman said the stores are all money-losers. The company has reported 11 consecutive quarters of losses.

SHREVE CRUMP & LOW MARKS 200 YEARS

Shreve Crump & Low of Boston is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

The company was founded in 1796 by silversmith John McFarlane and moved into its landmark Art Deco building in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay district in 1929. A second store was added in 1974 in The Mall in nearby Chestnut Hill. In 1992, Barrie D. Birks, formerly president of Henry Birks Jewelers in Canada, bought Shreve Crump & Low through Tyringham Investments Ltd. and now serves as chairman and executive officer. Kevin M. Jenness is president.

Over the years, Shreve Crump & Low customers have included the rich and the famous, among them Mrs. Alexander Graham Bell, Winston Churchill and publisher William Randolph Hearst.

To mark its bicentennial, the company has planned a year-long celebration that includes:

  • “Ill Ballo d’Oro.” A white-tie ball at the Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in April marked the jeweler’s 200th year and the birthday of museum founder Isabella Stewart Gardner, one of Shreve Crump & Low’s most illustrious shoppers. Italian gold jewelry was on display during the event. Proceeds were earmarked for the museum’s music and conservation programs.

  • “Edible Art.” Thirty-five of Boston’s most celebrated chefs turned Shreve Crump & Low into a culinary feast for the eyes and palate April 27. The event raised money for the Art Institute of Boston’s Disadvantaged and Minority Student Scholarships Fund.

  • “Trophies & Treasures: Two Centuries at Shreve Crump & Low.” This fall, 200 years of artifacts from the jeweler’s archives will be on display for three months at The Bostonian Society in the old State House. The exhibition will feature the history of Boston juxtaposed with the historical time line of events leading to Shreve’s 200th year in business. The exhibit will include never-before-seen photographs, portraits, drawings and unique objects, such as the trophies the store has designed for the Davis Cup (tennis) and the Cunard Cup (sailing).

  • “American Silver Exhibition.” Taking a leaf from its founder John McFarland and Boston son and silversmith Paul Revere, the jeweler will present the craftsmanship of today’s contemporary silversmiths this winter.

GEORG JENSEN COMPLETES RENOVATIONS IN NEW YORK

Georg Jensen recently completed renovations on its flagship store at 683 Madison Ave., New York City. The company has had a New York City store since 1924 and has been at its current location for 15 years.

The store concept, developed by architect Torsten Thorup, combines classic Scandinavian elements with simple geometric shapes in a facade and interior designed to fit into any cityscape. This design will be implemented in Georg Jensen stores worldwide.

A storefront of French limestone leads to an interior with dark wood flooring, bronze-accented cabinetry, well-lighted bronze and glass display cases, leather chairs and Oriental rugs. On display in the 2,900-sq.-ft. retailing area is the full line of Georg Jensen gold and silver jewelry, hollowware, flatware, watches, personal accessories and giftware. A Royal Copenhagen gallery will feature a selection of handpainted porcelain tableware and accessories.

Georg Jensen is part of the Royal Copenhagen Group, the Scandinavian decorative arts company with headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. There are 66 Georg Jensen stores worldwide.

OPENINGS

Friedman’s Jewelers Inc. of Savannah, Ga., opened a new store in the Hammond Aire Plaza in Baton Rouge, La. Friedman’s operates more than 350 jewelry stores.

Goldstein’s Jewelers of Mobile, Ala., relocated to a larger space inside the Bel Air Mall, directly across from its old location.

CORRECTION

A new-store announcement on page 133 of JCK, March 1996, should have read: Mollie B ­ Distinctively Different Fine Jewelry opened in November in Harrisburg, Pa. Owner Mollie Bronstein focuses on the area’s upscale consumers with direct mail advertising, exclusive designer jewelry lines and custom design services.

ANNIVERSARY

F.D. Fogg & Co. Jewelers of Albuquerque, N.M., celebrated its 75th anniversary Feb. 7. Donald Fogg, son of the founder, and his daughter, Ellen, run the business.