Retailer News

GORDON SPONSORS JAZZ PROMOTION

Jeweler, drummer and jazz aficionado Gary Gordon, president of Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City, Okla., has a thing for jazzy promotions.

He hosted his second annual industry jazz party at Fat Tuesday’s in New York City during the JA International Jewelry Show in February. More than 100 industry VIPs were invited to a late-night concert by the Joe Morello Quartet.

A week later, Gordon again called upon Morello, a frequent attraction at Samuel Gordon, to present a Valentine’s Day concert to benefit Easter Seal children. The evening featured a reception and concert at Samuel Gordon Jewelers and informal modeling of spring fashions by Balliet’s, an Oklahoma City designer clothing boutique.

TIFFANY EARNINGS RISE 30% IN FISCAL 1994

Tiffany & Co. posted gains of 21% in net sales and 30% in net earnings for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31.

“U.S. retail sales were very strong and our business in Japan responded favorably to the many initiatives we have taken,” says Chairman William R. Chaney. “Tiffany’s dynamic marketing and merchandising programs are reaching growing numbers of consumers in established and new markets.”

Net income totaled $29.3 million on sales of $682.8 million in fiscal 1994. That compares with income of $22.5 million (excluding a charge for a business realignment in Japan) on sales of $566.5 million in 1993.

For the fourth quarter alone, net sales rose 15% to $239.3 million and net income rose 7% to $19.3 million.

Sales results for Tiffany’s three channels of distribution for 1994 were:

  • U.S. Retail – up 15% to $308.3 million for the year and up 15% to $111.0 million for the quarter. Comparable-store sales increased 12% and 13% for the fiscal year and quarter, respectively.

  • Direct Marketing – up 6% to $92.7 million for the year and up 8% to $32.4 million for the quarter. Direct Marketing sales are made through Tiffany’s corporate and catalog divisions.

  • International Retail – up 34% to $281.9 million for the year and up 18% to $95.9 million for the quarter.

Tiffany, headquartered in New York City, operates stores and boutiques and sells to select retailers and distributors in the U.S., Asia, Europe, Canada and the Middle East.

PEOPLE

LURIAS RECEIVE WIESENTHAL AWARD

Leonard Luria, chairman and chief executive officer of L. Luria & Son Inc., and his wife Gloria recently received the 1995 Distinguished Community Service Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. They were honored at the center’s annual South Florida Tribute Dinner and commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of European Jewry.

The center, an international human rights organization dedicated to the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust, honors individuals based on their leadership in the community, commitment to human rights and support of Jewish education and awareness. The Lurias, who have 45 stores throughout Florida, are active in many organizations including the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, American Jewish Congress, American Friends of the Hebrew University and the Greater Miami Young Men’s Hebrew Association. “We are proud to be honored with this award and pleased to be able to support the humanitarian efforts of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,” says Leonard Luria.

PLUMB CLUB ELECTS GARY SOLOMAN PRESIDENT

Gary Solomon, president of Princess Pride Creations, was elected president of the Plumb Club of NYS. He has been on the Plumb Club board since 1991, serving as secretary in 1994, and was instrumental in development of the Plumb Club Pavilion at the JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas. Princess Pride Creations is a multifaceted jewelry company with headquarters in Chicago and offices in Providence, R.I., and in Italy.

Serving with him are Stanley Schechter of Honora Jewelry, New York City, vice president; Raymond Mastoloni of Frank Mastoloni & Sons Inc., New York City, treasurer; and Bruce Rubin of Astoria Jewelry Mfg., Long Island City, N.Y., secretary.

The board of directors, in addition to the officers, comprises Banice Bazar of Imperial Pearl Syndicate, East Providence, R.I.; Nancy Brewer of Nancy B. & Co., Culver City, Cal.; Lawrence Grunstein of Citizen Watch Co., Lyndhurst, N.J.; Marvin Markman of Suberi Brothers, New York City; Alexander Weindling of London Star Ltd., New York City; and Robert Wueste of Samuel Aaron Inc., Long Island City, N.Y.

Among 1995 Plumb Club activities are the Plumb Club/JCK Rodeo in Las Vegas on June 10 and the Plumb Club dinner dance at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on July 22.

ART MUSEUM NAMES DESTINO TO TWO POSTS

Ralph Destino, chairman of Cartier Inc., was named chairman of the business committee and a trustee at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

“The museum is very fortunate to have Ralph Destino’s enthusiasm and leadership in support of our institution,” says Agnes Gund, who chairs the museum board. “We know he will make an enormous contribution to our mission.” Destino’s responsibilities will involve the development of corporate membership and exhibition support.

Cartier helps to support museums in more than 30 cities across the U.S. and throughout Europe and the Far East. The company’s French parent also operates the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art museum in Paris.

NJJA NAMES BETSY IRWIN “PERSON OF THE YEAR”

After 35 years of service, Betsy Irwin is retiring from the Diamond Promotion Service. In recognition of her dedication to the jewelry industry, the New Jersey Jewelers Association (NJJA) honored her as its “Person of the Year.” The event took place on April 23 at the NJJA’s 1995 convention, held at the Ocean Place Hilton in Long Branch, N.J.

OHIO JEWELERS HONOR FREEMA S. FUERST

The Ohio Jewelers Guild recently honored Freema S. Fuerst of Swirsky Bros. in Cleveland, Ohio, at its Sweetheart Ball.

Fuerst was named Sweetheart of the Year for her 76 years of dedication to the jewelry industry. Through her travels worldwide, Fuerst became involved with pearls and their history and is known as the “Pearl Lady from Swirsky.”

CAMPBELL SWITCHES POLITICAL PARTIES

U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, the only jeweler and the only American Indian in the U.S. Senate, made national news March 3 by switching from Democrat to Republican.

Campbell, 61, who also is a rancher and former Olympic athlete, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1987 and the Senate in 1992. He has been an ally to the jewelry industry in Congress. He fought against the federal luxury tax and received the Jewelers of America’s first Distinguished Public Service Award as a result. He also sponsored a bill to create the Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution and chairs a fund-raising effort to support jewelry and other collections that will be displayed there when it opens in two years.

Though he doesn’t agree with the entire Republican platform (he is prochoice on the issue of abortion and opposes cuts in the federal school lunch program), he said the recent debate on the balanced budget amendment “brought into focus that my personal beliefs and the Democratic Party are far apart.” He reportedly was at odds with the Democratic leadership in his state also. Campbell’s switch gives the Republicans 54 senators and the Democrats 46.

Despite his busy schedule in Washington, D.C., Campbell still finds time to design jewelry for his family-operated company, Ben Nighthorse Corp., Ignacio, Colo.

AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE TO HONOR JACQUES ROISEN

The Jewelry Division of the American Jewish Committee will present its 1995 Human Relations Award to Jacques Roisen, senior partner of Michal Ferman, Roisen and Ferman Inc. The award will be given at a dinner on May 10, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York. The division chairman is Michael Kaplan of Rocket Jewelry Box; Lowell and Sheldon Kwiat of Kwiat Inc. will serve as dinner co-chairs.

The American Jewish Committee noted Roisen’s leadership in the jewelry industry as well as his commitment to philanthropic causes. He was elected president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association in 1991 and was president of the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America from 1989 to 1994. Roisen is a contributor to the United Jewish Appeal and the Sid Jacobson Y, and is involved with the Organization for Rehabilitation through Training (ORT).

For more information or to make a reservation for the awards dinner, contact Susan Tanenbaum at (212) 751-4000, ext. 423.

APPOINTMENTS

Alan Feigen was named vice president of sales and marketing of Karlan Ring Co., Dallas, Tex.

Sandra Chase was named Northwest regional sales representative for Martin’s Herend Imports Inc., Sterling, Va. Tori Richardson-Hill was named regional sales representative for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, northern Illinois and Nebraska.

Kathryn Kim-mel was promoted to vice president of marketing and public relations at the Gemological Institute of America, Santa Monica, Cal.

Arthur Klein was named director of special projects for A.B. Kohler & Co., Montville, N.J. He was formerly director of advertising for Tourneau Inc., New York, N.Y.

The American Gem Society awarded the title Registered Supplier to Christi Cramer of Gem 2000, Columbus, Ohio.

Brigitte Clark was promoted to market manager for Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota and Iowa for National City Processing Co.’s Check Services Division, Riverdale, N.J. She was formerly an account representative.

Lorraine S. Tuohy was appointed regional representative for Florida for William Doyle Galleries, New York, N.Y.

David Mosier was promoted to vice president of field sales for Wittnauer International, New Rochelle, N.Y. He was formerly sales training manager. Also at Wittnauer, Philip G. Schwetz was appointed director of marketing for the Zodiac and Universal Geneve watch brands. He was formerly a senior vice president and management supervisor at Campbell-Mithun & Esty, an advertising agency whose clients included Wittnauer.

OBITUARIES

Katie Giardino Barranco, 86, of Greenwood, Tenn., a retired jeweler, died Feb. 23 of heart failure. She and her late husband owned and operated Barranco’s Jewelry for 53 years.

Carolyn E. Marshall, 98, of Birmingham, Ala., died Jan. 20. Her father and grandfather established Rosenstihl Brothers Jewelers in the 1880s. She was active in the art world.

Viscount Paul de Rosiere, 87, died in January in Palm Beach, Fla. He was formerly an executive for the Cartier and Harry Winston jewelry companies.

Orville W. Worthman, 81, of Scottsdale, Ariz., a jeweler, died Feb. 12.

Henry Allen LeGarde Jr., 42, of the Ft. McDowell Indian Community in Arizona, a jeweler, died Feb. 28.

Paul Martin Brandenburg, 66, of Greensboro, N.C., died Feb. 22. He was formerly national sales manager of Concept Marketing Inc.

Jesse Harrison Marlowe, 81, died Dec. 12, in Alexandria, Va. He owned and operated several jewelry stores in suburban Washington, D.C.

Kenneth M. Castro, 72, died Nov. 11. He owned Castro of California in Murphys, Cal., a lapidary-jewelry business that he founded in Santa Barbara in 1957. He also was an author of numerous articles on gemstones.