DE BEERS SEES OPPORTUNITY IN SWITCH TO JWT AGENCY
De Beers hopes for a seamless transition and new opportunities for jewelers in its decision to switch its U.S. advertising and promotion account from N.W. Ayer & Partners to J. Walter Thompson.
Nonetheless, the decision, announced in September and effective Jan. 1, could put a new face on the relationship between De Beers and jewelers in the U.S. Jewelers know De Beers largely through Diamond Promotion Service field representatives who visit their stores, DPS trainers who conduct seminars and, to a lesser extent, Diamond Information Center employees who provide public relations support.
But N.W. Ayer created and operates both of those agencies, and the future involvement of their employees in the industry was uncertain at press time. Dorothy Marcus, a senior partner and director of corporate communications at JWT in New York, declines to say whether anyone who works on the De Beers account at Ayer will be offered positions at JWT.
Regardless, the services that jewelers have come to expect from De Beers will continue under JWT, says Derek Palmer, U.S. regional director for De Beers. “We can’t comment specifically so early in the process,” he says. “But JWT will evaluate the best way they can service our account and come back to us with a proposal.” De Beers and JWT representatives will meet in the coming weeks, but no concrete plans will be announced until next year.
Palmer stresses that all advertising and promotional campaigns planned through N.W. Ayer will continue unchanged through the end of this year. (De Beers’ total budget in the U.S. this year is $55 million; the actual media expenditure is about $40 million, he says.)
Why Thompson? The decision to move the account completes De Beers’ strategy to concentrate all advertising and promotion under one agency. Though Ayer has held De Beers’ U.S. account since 1938, JWT handles all its other accounts.
In fact De Beers has a long association with JWT. “For over 30 years, J. Walter Thompson has played a vital role in developing new market opportunities for diamond jewelry, such as in Japan and more recently in Asia,” says Palmer. “Now they will bring their unrivaled marketing resources and expertise to our industry in the U.S., which will help to put our promotional activities on a new plane.”
While Ayer made a name for De Beers – and itself – with the “A diamond is forever” slogan, JWT is making a name for itself for producing the well-received Shadows advertising campaign of 1992-’94 and the Shadows II campaign that began earlier this year.
JWT is the third largest ad agency in the world and the second largest in the U.S. It has won more EFFIE awards (given annually for effective advertising) than any other agency. And it has 27 offices across the U.S. to service accounts.
It was this combination of a global reach and a local touch that convinced De Beers the time was right to move its U.S. account to JWT. “It was inevitable that we’d be seeking an agency with more international resources than N.W. Ayer,” says Palmer. “Thompson is a much bigger agency and has many more resources. This will allow us to manage our marketing programs more effectively.”
In addition to the efficiencies that will come with running all programs through one agency, De Beers says JWT’s 27 regional offices will provide a greater local presence and more effective and localized marketing and media-buying advice. “It will strengthen the way we operate on the local level,” says Palmer.
Industry sources who spoke on condition of anonymity cite additional factors in De Beers’ decision. Relations between De Beers and Ayer suffered as JWT grew more influential in developing the global marketing campaigns, they say. And U.S. retailers were upset when they lost some diamond advertising co-op money to department stores and mass merchants who sell lesser-quality goods but have the advantage of high volume.
De Beers and JWT officials decline to discuss specifics of the change until JWT actually takes over in January. But Chris Jones, co-president of JWT, is enthusiastic about the possibilities. “It is very exciting that De Beers has given this enormous vote of confidence to our worldwide network and to our New York agency,” he says in a statement issued after De Beers’ announcement. “This is a vindication of the substantial investment of time, talent and money that JWT has been making to achieve a truly global approach.”
Regarding the effect on the jewelry industry, he says: “Everyone at Thompson New York is conscious of the high standards which De Beers expects, and we are confident that expectations will be met and exceeded from the beginning of 1996.”
The view from Ayer: Ayer executives knew that De Beers wanted to consolidate its account (De Beers switched its East Asia account from Bates Dorland four years ago, leaving the U.S. as the only missing piece of the JWT puzzle). But Ayer executives remained confident they could hold onto the account. Until September.
“I was very surprised, shocked,” says Walter Ife, executive director of the Diamond Promotion Service and a vice president of N.W. Ayer. “They felt it was in their best interest to put their global marketing into the hands of one company and, unfortunately, it wasn’t N.W. Ayer.”
N.W. Ayer created DPS in 1971 as a major source of training and education to help jewelers sell more diamonds. “We’ve also supplied an enormous amount of point-of-sale, advertising and promotional support – not to mention the expertise of each of the DPS field employees,” says Ife. DPS currently employs 15 people, seven on them deployed in the field (two other field positions are vacant). Ife stresses the cumulative experience of DPS employees, but says he doesn’t know whether JWT will try to take advantage of that resource.
In the meantime, it will be business as usual. “We’re planning to go full steam ahead with all of our programs and training seminars for the year,” he says.
The Diamond Information Center has seven employees who provide public relations support. Account supervisor Alyse Frankenberg declines to comment on De Beers’ decision to switch agencies.
STERLING NAMES BURMAN AS NEW PRESIDENT
Terry L. Burman, 50, long-time president of Barry’s Jewelers in California, is the new chairman and chief executive office of Sterling Inc. of Akron, Ohio, the second largest U.S retail jeweler with 870 stores. His appointment by the Signet Group, Sterling’s parent firm, was effective Sept. 13.
Signet Chairman James McAdam said Burman’s “long experience in the jewelry industry … will be invaluable, and I have no doubt he will make a major contribution to Sterling Inc.”
Burman said he was leaving Barry’s after 25 years with “great sadness,” but that he was “very pleased to be joining Sterling, which has an excellent franchise across the U.S. It is a great company, which has had a lot of success, and I hope to contribute to furthering that success.”
He said he looked forward to working with Sterling’s management team. Indeed, if one thing marks Burman’s management style, it is his stress on teamwork. “Companies don’t succeed because of one person,” he said, “but because they work as a team to achieve corporate objectives. I’m coming to work [with people at Sterling] as a team player.”
Meanwhile, Barry’s named Thomas S. Liston, its chief financial officer and vice president of finance, as interim president and chief executive officer effective Sept. 5. Robert Bridel, senior vice president of operations, was named interim chief operating officer.
Selection process: Burman’s appointment ended a six-month search following the resignation of Nathan R. Light. Signet officials said key factors in their selection were Burman’s life-long experience in the jewelry industry, leading a reorganization and turnaround of Barry’s in the early 1990s and his character and leadership abilities.
Burman joined Barry’s as vice president in 1980 and became president in 1982 and chief executive officer in 1993. Under his leadership, the company grew from 52 stores to 224. But in the early 1990s, slow sales, customer credit debt and overexpansion caused financial problems. Burman restructured many aspects of the business – including merchandising, credit and the management staff – and turned it into one of today’s better performers. It’s the fourth largest U.S. jeweler with 162 stores in 16 states and total annual sales volume of about $135 million.
Sterling provides two-thirds of Signet’s revenue, and Signet expressed some concern in the past year that Sterling’s sales didn’t meet Signet’s projections. However, Signet won’t be looking over Burman’s shoulder, according to Signet spokesman Michael Mitchell. “The day-to-day running of the business is [up to] Terry as chairman and CEO,” he said. “We have always said a U.S. business should be run by U.S. people for U.S. customers.”
PARAIBA TOURMALINE: A NEW SOURCE
A new source of Para!ba tourmaline has been discovered in Brazil, reports mining geologist Brian Cook of Nature’s Geometry in Grayton, Cal.
The find is in the Parelhas area of Paraiba, a state in Brazil, about 31 miles from the old Para!ba tourmaline mine. It’s expected to have a great impact on the gem market because demand for these vibrant blue and green gems remains strong even though supplies have nearly disappeared.
The gems – colored by traces of copper – were first found in the mid-1980s in a deposit known as Sao Jose da Batalha in Para!ba. They were an immediate success because of their vivid color, often described as “electric” and “neon.” But political strife led to various people claiming the deposit, making the naturally limited supply of clean, larger sizes even more limited. In 1991, the deposit ran dry.
Meanwhile, demand has remained strong, with prices rising from $100-$150 per carat initially to $2,000-$5,000 per carat. Very recently, prices have neared $10,000 per carat for Para!ba tourmaline of exceptional color and clarity in sizes around 10 carats.
The new find produces 1-3-ct. stones with vibrant blue and green colors. Current production totals about 2.2 pounds monthly.
The mine is owned by Raniere Addario, who says the first production will appear at the Brazgemas booth at the Holiday Inn during the Tucson gem and mineral shows in February 1996. More information on the deposit and photos will appear in the Gem Notes column of the November JCK.
JCK ANNOUNCES THIRD JEWELRY DESIGN CONTEST
The JCK 1996 Retail Jewelry Design Contest will soon be open for entries. The contest, now in its third year, aims to encourage custom design work and recognize design talent in the retail end of the jewelry business.
Contest rules include:
The piece must have been designed since July 1, 1994.
It must be an original design. Pieces created using available mountings are not acceptable.
It must have been fully created by a current or former full- or part-time employee of a retail jewelry store (one that derives 50% or more of its revenue from the sale of jewelry) located in the United States, Canada or Mexico. Freelance designers are not eligible; neither are employees of department stores or other types of non-jewelry outlets.
Designs that have won awards in other competitions are not eligible.
Entries must include color photographs, slides or transparencies, which become the property of JCK and will not be returned. Color renderings will not be accepted.
A store may submit no more than three entries, with no more than two per category.
Pieces will be judged on wearability, salability, originality and innovative use of techniques and materials. A winner and runner-up will be chosen in three suggested retail price categories; under $2,000; $2,000 to $5,000; and over $5,000. Winners will be announced and their designs shown in the May issue of JCK; awards will be presented to the winners at a ceremony during the JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas in June.
Entries must be received in the JCK offices by Feb. 1, 1996. Each must be accompanied by a filled-in entry form; the form will be printed in next month’s issue of JCK.
AGS APPOINTS EDUCATION DIRECTOR
Janice Mack-Talcott has been named director of education and education development coordinator for the American Gem Society. Mack-Talcott formerly was education director of the Gemological Institute of America.
“We are excited about the future educational programs for AGS, given the vast experience Janice has, not only in gemology, but also in merchandise display and retail management,” said AGS President Clayton Bromberg.
Mack-Talcott grew up in the retail jewelry business and began her gemological career when she was awarded the Arthur F. Gleim Jr. Scholarship for GIA’s Diamond Course. She received the Graduate Gemologist title in 1974 and subsequently joined the GIA instructional staff. She was involved with GIA Home Study courses, the six-month On-Campus Program, extension classes all over the world and special classes for many industry organizations.
During her time at GIA, Mack-Talcott co-developed the penlight technique of gem identification and undertook the task of coordinating GIA’s efforts to create a colored stone grading system. She also became a featured speaker at, and helped to coordinate, the annual AGS Conclave for several years.
In 1984, she left GIA to became a partner in a jewelry store in Washington, devoting her time to management, marketing and promotions, gemology, sales and unconventional displays.
Talcott returned to GIA in 1993 as education director, overseeing all aspects of the program in the U.S. and internationally.
“Throughout her career, Janice has used her great talents to serve the institute and the industry,” said GIA President William Boyajian. “Although we will miss her contribution at GIA, we are pleased for her and for our friends at the American Gem Society.”
Mack-Talcott expected to complete her work at GIA by late September and had already started to review AGS educational materials at press time in early September. “AGS has a very good course – good for the society and for jewelers in general,” she said. “AGS historically has been the fraternity of educated and ethical jewelers,”
Once she is fully on board with AGS in mid-October, Mack-Talcott plans to capitalize on that combination of education and ethics in further developing the society’s education program. “The abilities to retest credentials and monitor ethical activities give AGS jewelers an edge – especially as ethics become a more important issue,” she said.
Among her other goals are making the AGS Conclave more international in scope and studying where enhancements are possible in AGS business-related courses, classes, products and services.
JVC TASK FORCE READIES REPORT
An Appraisal Task Force the Jewelers Vigilance Committee convened last year is expected to issue final recommendations in a six-page report due in mid-September or October, says JVC Executive Director Joel Windman.
The report is expected to contain minimum guidelines for conducting cost analyses on jewelry for insurance purposes, not for a true appraisal. The report also is expected to recommend that retailers include complete descriptions of pieces, include all pricing details, indicate whether the store sells the item, suggest that photos be used when possible and include phrases that describe the subjectivity of grading. It also will advise that all enhancements be disclosed.
A vote on final approval will be scheduled once the recommendations are submitted. The task force is headed by Harold Tivol of Tivol Jewels in Kansas City, Mo.
DE BEERS PROFITS RISE 17% IN FIRST HALF
De Beers reports that its profits rose 17% to $398 million in the first six months of the year. But it warns that business won’t be as good in the second half of the year.
Considering just diamond earnings, De Beers Consolidated Mines (which controls all South African operations) and De Beers Centenary (which controls all other assets) reported an 8% increase to a combined $426 million in the first half of the year. All of the increase came from South Af rica; Centenary’s diamond account earnings fell 21% to $244 million.
Spokesman Robin Walker says the decrease at Centenary reflects the ongoing 15% reduction in purchases from producers, the absence of figures on Namibia’s production (which are reported separately under an agreement with that country’s new government last year) and deliveries of diamonds to De Beers’ Central Selling Organisation that came too late to be included in the six-month statement. In addition, De Beers Consolidated saw higher-than-expected production from the new Venetia mine in South Africa.
The report also indicates De Beers’ diamond stockpile fell by $30 million to $4.35 billion.
De Beers expects second-half sales to be off substantially. While the fundamentals of the diamond industry remain positive, concern over what Russia will demand in a new CSO diamond marketing contract to replace one that ends this year – and whether it will even sign a new contract – have caused uncertainty.
However, that uncertainty has given way to some guarded optimism in recent weeks as several top Russian officials now say an agreement will be signed.
GIA TO HONOR FOUNDERS, START LEAGUE OF HONOR
The Gemological Institute of America will honor two industry leaders and inaugurate the first mem bers of the GIA League of Honor at a gala to be held in the Plaza Hotel, New York City, on Oct. 24.
The Founder’s Dinner will honor GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat and Robert Crowningshield for “laying the foundation for modern standards in grading and education in the international gem and jewelry industry.”
The first nominees to the GIA League of Honor are being recognized for their dedication, leadership and excellence throughout the gem and jewelry world. Inaugural Chevaliers are Michael Barlerin (World Gold Council), Ralph Destino and Simon Critchell (Cartier), Helmut Swarovski (Daniel Swarovski Co.), William Chaney (Tiffany & Co.), Ara Arslanian (Cora Diamond), William Goldberg (William Goldberg Diamond Co.), Michael Roman (Jewelers of America) and Nicholas Oppenheimer (De Beers).
Robert Bridge, co-chairman of Ben Bridge Jewelers, and Eli Izhakoff, president of the New York Diamond Dealers Club, are dinner co-chairs. For information, call Stanley Marcus at (201) 837-5010 or GIA Director of Development Jim Littman at (310) 829-2991, ext. 303.
U.S. GOLD JEWELRY SALES RISE 6% IN FIRST HALF
Gold jewelry posted its 14th consecutive quarter of sales increases in the second quarter of 1995, reports the World Gold Council. Total gold jewelry retail sales topped $3.8 billion in the first half, up 6.3% from the same period of last year. Unit volume grew even more, rising 9.4% to 43.6 million units. Meanwhile, overall U.S. retail sales (non-auto) rose only 5.2%.
Sales were up across all retail channels of distribution, says the council. First-half sales increased 19% in value in discount stores, 6.5% in independent jewelry stores, 5.2% in chain jewelry stores, 3.8% in department stores and 2.3% in catalog showrooms.
All merchandise categories also showed increases. Sales of charms rose 15.9%, earrings 13.9%, non-wedding rings 9.4%, bracelets 6.2%, non-chain necklaces 5.6%, gold wedding rings 5% and neckchains 3.2%.
The information is based on sales reports from a national panel of more than 4,000 retailers in all major classes of trade selling gold jewelry in which the primary value is in the gold content (including jewelry with accent stones and excluding watches)
GILLES ROBERT CEASES OPERATIONS
Swiss watchmaker Gilles Robert has ceased production of its luxury watches, says UTime Co. Inc., the Rutherford, N.J., company that used to distribute the brand in the U.S.
Gilles Robert was a line of jeweled women’s watches, many with interchangeable leather straps. The line was introduced in 1991 by the company’s namesake, whose family is in the watch business in Switzerland.
UTime will continue to distribute the Bertolucci, Breguet, Girard-Perregaux and Gevril brands.
CHARRIOL SEEKS STOLEN WATCHES
Philippe Charriol U.S.A. and law enforcement officials are trying to track down a large shipment of timepieces stolen from one of the company’s international distributors. Some of the watches are believed to have made their way to the U.S.
Al-Or International, which distributes the brand in the U.S., says all serial numbers of the watches have been recorded with the U.S. Customs Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation “for confiscation and prosecution purposes.”
If approached by unauthorized sources, jewelers who carry the brand are encouraged to contact Al-Or International/Philippe Charriol U.S.A., 1227 Prospect S., La Jolla, Cal., 92037; (619) 454-0011, fax (619) 454-9944.
JA ANNOUNCES CAREER SYMPOSIUM
The fourth annual Jewelry Career Symposium sponsored by Jewelers of America’s Center for Business Studies will be held Oct. 15 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, N.Y.
The goal is to provide insight into the jewelry industry and to give job-seekers a chance to meet with recruiters. Major designers, retailers and manufacturers will be represented.
The symposium will feature two new workshops designed to teach newcomers how to set up their portfolios and how to create resums for job interviews. Also scheduled are “Industry Trends: Where the Jobs Are,” presented by Karen Kelly of Jan Bell Inc. and Kate Peterson of Littman/Elangy Corp., and “Hands-on Antique and Estate Jewelry Auction,” by professors Judith Reiss of Pratt Institute and Michael Coan of F.I.T.
The symposium also will include the CBS Student Design Contest. Jack Gindi of JAMMS Inc., New York, N.Y., will manufacture the winning design; Bart Schick of Dobbs-Boston, Gloucester, Mass., will produce the second-place design in silver. Entries will be judged by Sandy Baker, Michael Bondanza, Chris Correia and Tina Segal from the American Jewelry Design Council.
Jewelers of America, 1185 Ave. of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10036; (800) 223-0673 or (212) 768-8777.
CULTURED PEARL GROUP COINS NEW NAME
The marketing and public relations arm of the Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association (JPEA) and the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) has a new name. What had been called the Cultured Pearl Associations of America now will be known in the U.S. as the Cultured Pearl Information Center.
CPIC’s main goals are to provide publicity services to consumer media and to support industry-related marketing strategies. Tele-Press Associates, the public relations, advertising and marketing agency that operated CPAA, continues with CPIC. “The decision for the name change was based on a need to redefine and clarify our activities to the public and trade,” says Executive Director Devin Macnow. “We found that many of the press only sought us out when they needed specific information on the Japanese pearl trade. With the new name change, we hope to attract greater attention from the consumer media and more marketing cooperation and input from independent U.S. pearl importers and retailers.”
The change does not affect marketing policies or association activities of JPEA or CPAA.
In separate news, both groups recently elected new officers. Izumi Yamamoto, director of Yamakatsu Pearl Co. Ltd., is the new president of JPEA. Yamamoto, who entered the pearl industry in 1953, also serves as vice president of the Japan Pearl Promotion Society and director/representative from Japan to the newly formed World Cultured Pearl Organization. JPEA – an international trade organization whose primary missions are regulation of cultured pearl exports, export quality controls and standards, and the promotion and marketing of cultured pearls – has 159 member firms.
At CPAA, Stanley Schechter was named president and Raymond Mastoloni vice president. Schechter, chief executive officer of Honora Ltd., also is an executive committee member of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the National Conference of Christians and Jews, a past director of the Twenty-Four Karat Club of the City of New York and a past president of the Plumb Club. Mastoloni, a principal of Frank Mastoloni & Sons Inc., also is a director of the Plumb Club and a past president of CPAA. Other new officers include Richard Blake of Grassman-Blake Inc., treasurer, and Janice Ewenstein of Yonmir Pearl Inc., secretary. CPAA is a national trade association dedicated to building commerce in cultured pearls in the U.S.
An article on page 152 of the August 1995 JCK should have identified the marketer and exclusive distributor of TSI Jewelry and Vault Carts as Worldwide Safe & Vault Inc., 1746 N.W. 82 Ave., Miami, Fla. 33126; (800) 932-2278, fax (305) 477-9744. The carts are designed to cut set-up and breakdown time 50%-60% by reducing the transfer of merchandise to a single trip. The carts, which contain the entire inventory, serve as the interior of the jeweler’s safe or vault and roll out to the showcases. Carts for jeweler’s safes start at $685 and for vaults at $395.
RUSSIA MAY RESHUFFLE DIAMOND AGENCIES
Russia may be reorganizing its complex diamond mining and marketing apparatus into a single agency following the reported departure of a top official, according to press reports from Moscow.
Andrei Kirillin, president of Almazi-Rossi-Sakha, the agency that oversees diamond mining and the marketing of newly mined diamonds, reportedly resigned in August in favor of Viachelav Shtyrov, vice president of Sakha, the province where virtually all of Russia’s diamonds are mined and a senior board member of ARS.
According to the press reports, Shtyrov is a much more forceful personality with connections to the very top of the central government in Moscow. His appointment could ease troubled negotiations with De Beers’ Central Selling Organisation for a new diamond marketing contract to replace one that ends this year. ARS has advocated an early settlement of the negotiations.
Russia’s other chief diamond agency, Komdragmet, administers all sales of diamonds and gold from the nation’s stockpile. It’s headed by Evgeny Bytchkov, who has advocated a more independent line from De Beers and is the force behind most of the $1 billion in rough diamond sales outside of De Beers’ network in the past year. In recent months, Komdragmet officials have taken a more conciliatory stance and curtailed their sales of rough outside the De Beers network.
Now, according to the press reports, ARS and Komdragmet may be merged into a one agency called the Russian Diamond Selling Organization. The reports did not indicate who would head the agency. The proposal follows a directive from Russia’s parliament that the two agencies adopt a unified bargaining position by the end of August. They missed that deadline, but reportedly were working on a joint list of contract demands.
Both agencies want to enlarge the country’s diamond manufacturing operations in Moscow and Yakutia, the capital of Sakha; Komdragmet also is seeking the right to sell a larger percentage of rough outside of De Beers’ network.
Though formal contract talks were stalled over the summer, optimism that a contract would be signed reportedly increased dramatically after De Beers’ senior executives met with Russian government officials in July.
JOHN CAMERON SWAYZE,TIMEX SPOKESMAN, DIES
Broadcaster John Cameron Swayze, known for his Timex commercials that used the line “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking,” died Aug. 15 at his home in Sarasota, Fla. He was 89.
Born in Wichita, Kan., Swayze started his broadcast career on radio, then moved to television and became well-known for his work on news and variety programs at NBC. His “Camel News Caravan” became a prototype for modern newscasts.
When Chet Huntley and David Brinkley replaced him in the news division in 1956, Swayze became spokesman for Timex. The watch company ran his commercials for two decades and still uses the “It takes a licking…” tag line on its stationery.
Timex paid tribute to Swayze in a USA Today ad that said: “Farewell to a man of integrity, warmth and sincerity. It won’t be the same without you.”
ZALE RENEWS CREDIT, BUYS SWAROVKI WARRANTS
Zale Corp. says its bank lenders have agreed to refinance a $150 million line of credit. The company also announced it will buy back warrants held by Swarovski International, a former co-owner.
The new financing agreement, put together by a group of banks led by the Bank of Boston, removes some restrictions in the previous one, primarily the ability to buy back notes. As a result, Zale says it can buy $60 million in senior subordinated notes. The buy-back, financed out of cash flow, will cause an extraordinary charge of 2 o 3 er share in the first quarter of fiscal 1996.
“The increased flexibility … is in recognition of the accomplishments we have achieved in the past year,” says Robert DiNicola, Zale’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are now able to continue to invest in our capital improvement and store growth initiatives.”
Unrelated to the new financing agreement, Zale paid $9.3 million from cash on hand to buy back 1.853 million warrants held by former co-owner Swarovski International Holding AG. Swarovski received the warrants in the first place for supplying money during Zale’s bankruptcy reorganization. (Warrants are like an option; each one entitled Swarovski, if it had chosen to do so, to buy one share of Zale common stock for $10.36.)
The transaction is expected to have a favorable impact on future years’ per-share earnings.
As of July 31, Zale Corp. operated 1,177 retail stores and leased jewelry departments in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam, including Zale’s Jewelers, Gordon’s Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle and Corrigan’s.
HSN NAMES NEW PRESIDENT,ADDS DILLER TO ITS BOARD
The Home Shopping Network has named a new president and added three new members to its board of directors. The new directors include Barry Diller, who created the Fox television network and is the former chairman of QVC, the main competitor of HSN.
The new president is David F. Dyer, formerly chief operating officer. He succeeds Gerald F. Hogan, who resigned unexpectedly after two years in the job. Hogan’s exit came just as HSN capped a year-long overhaul of its operations and merchandising strategy (see “HSN Upgrades Operations,” JCK, August 1995, page 20).
Dyer joined HSN last year to boost the quality and value of products and to develop private-label merchandise. He formerly was vice chairman of merchandising and sales for Lands’ End, the apparel and home soft goods direct marketer.
Meanwhile, the appointment of three new board members got as much – or more – attention than the change in the president’s office. Joining Barry Diller as new board members are John Malone, president of TCI, and Peter Barton, chief operating officer of TCI and president of Liberty Media Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of TCI and HSN’s largest shareholder.
According to published reports, Diller will buy 20% of Silver King and could control up to 70% of its voting stock if the deal is approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Several published reports indicate Diller wants to use HSN and Silver King to create a new network. What that might mean for HSN programming was uncertain at press time.
HSN, the seventh-largest jewelry re tailer in the U.S., broadcasts to some 60 million U.S. households.
Some 200 objects are on display at the Muse des Arts in the Louvre in Paris in an exhibit titled “A Diamond in the City, Jean Schlumberger, Jewelry-Objects 1907-1987.” The exhibit, which runs Oct. 20 through Feb. 25, is the first dedicated to Schlumberger, whose works for Tiffany & Co. are known worldwide. The exhibit includes several pieces of costume jewelry designed early in his career, a number of drawings and jewelry gathered from Tiffany & Co., private collectors and the Museum of Art in Richmond, Va. The exhibit also includes his Tiffany Diamond, one of the largest fancy yellow diamonds. For details, call the museum at (33-1) 442 61 3608.
Pat O’Rourke accepted the Golter Award on behalf of the Jewelry Circle for the City of Hope from comedian Norm Crosby, goodwill ambassador for the medical and research center in Duarte, Cal. O’Rourke is vice president of the Jewelry Circle, which raised more than $124,000 for the City of Hope last year at a dinner honoring JCK Publisher Charles Bond and Editor in Chief George Holmes.
A video crew from the Total Communication Network, a new El Segundo, Cal.-based cable TV network airing programs for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, recently visited the Gemological Institute of America. The TCN crew and a group of deaf children were there to film an episode of “Happy Hands Kids Klub.” Deaf children could get their hands on some of the gemstones used in a GIA jewelry manufacturing arts classroom.