Retailer News

PROTOTYPE STORE MARKS ‘REBIRTH’ OF GORDON’S

Gordon’s Jewelers marked its 90th anniversary in June by presenting a new prototype store. The company says the event represents more than just a new look for its 360 stores.

“This is the rebirth of Gordon’s, a statement that it is going to be a jewelry store again,” says Mary Forte, president of Gordon’s, a division of Zale Corp., Irving, Tex., the nation’s largest jewelry retailer. “This not only brings a whole new look that is elegant and appealing, but also upgrades Gordon’s image and merchandise.”

The new look was unveiled officially at Gordon’s top sales volume store in The Meadows Mall, just outside of Las Vegas, Nev. (At least 10 other Gordon’s stores had already been remodeled.) Guests and officials at the official unveiling included Zale Chairman Robert DiNicola, Zale President Larry Pollock and dozens of officials from Gordon and Zale suppliers.

The remodeled stores feature a new logo, charcoal gray entry arches, red cherrywood showcases with black trim, taupe marble and soft rose walls, and purple carpets and upholstery. Gordon will remodel about 40 of its stores by the end of the year and the rest by the end of 1996.

The new look is part of a long-term plan to upgrade all aspects of Gordon’s operations. The goal, says Forte, who became president last year, is to “improve upon every aspect of our business, from the merchandise we offer to the shopping experience.”

BARRY ZALE ACQUIRES STERLING DIAMONDS

Barry Zale Jewelry Co. has acquired Sterling Diamonds and Fine Gifts. Both companies are based in Dallas, Tex.

Zale is president and chief executive of the store; Howard Donsky, a son of the store’s founders, is executive vice president.

Zale says he intends to reposition the 47-year-old store away from its discount image; pricing will be value-oriented and competitive. Merchandise will include upscale gift items, such as designer bags and other accessories, in addition to diamonds and other fine jewelry. The aim is to make it “the finest jewelry and gift superstore in the South,” says Zale.

There are no plans to open additional Sterling Diamond and gift stores.

Zale is a grandson of the late Morris Zale, founder of Zale Corp., the world’s largest jewelry retailer. He worked in various capacities at Zale Corp., including as vice president of the upscale Bailey, Banks & Biddle division, from 1975 to 1986. He most recently was vice president of Capitol Entertainment, the largest Blockbuster Entertainment Corp. franchisee, and is vice president of NewCourse Partners Ltd., a venture capital firm.

Donsky has 26 years of retail experience. He will oversee diamond purchasing and jewelry manufacturing for the store.

OPENINGS

Krigel’s Jewelers of Leawood, Kan., held grand opening celebrations April 7-8 at the seven stores it acquired in February from Getz Jewelers in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area and in northern Kentucky. The company, founded in 1910 by Sol Krigel, has 13 stores in the Kansas City-St. Louis area in addition to the seven new stores, which have been converted to Krigel’s Jewelers. All Krigel stores donated a portion of grand opening sales to Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Copploe Jewelers of Youngstown, O., opened a new store on Route 224 in Boardman, O. The company will maintain its original store on Mahoning Ave. in Youngstown.

REMODELING

Las Savell, founder of Las Savell Jewelry Inc., Memphis, Tenn., is remodeling and expanding its midtown store. The $100,000 project will add 650 square feet to the 2,000-sq.-ft. store, which is at McLean and Union streets. About 350 square feet of the addition will be used for retail space. Savell also will add a corner tower to the new facade to make the store more visible from Union.