Following the closure of its two Brisbane stores last year and Melbourne’s Bourke St Mall store in 2011, Bevilles Jewellers has just announced that it has created an alliance with a Mumbai-based jewellery manufacturer and is planning to close six more stores in the next five months.
In a press release Bevilles CEO Michelle Stanton said the company would close stores in Doncaster, Greensborough, Moorabbin and Southland in Victoria and Elizabeth and Marion in South Australia.
She said the strategic alliance with Tara Jewels would give Australian customers access to world class diamond and jewellery products at amazing prices and provide Bevilles with a wide range of product, sourcing and operational efficiencies as well as a more enhanced IT infrastructure.
“It allows Bevilles to have direct relationships with diamond site holders and remove several steps from the product sourcing process which benefits will flow through to our customers.
“This is an incredible opportunity for a 77 year old, third generational family business to retain Australian ownership and management by the family members yet at the same time move the business to a 21st century model.
“I believe that this offers a sustainable model to meet the challenges of retail with a platform for growth for the future and is unique in the Australasian jewellery retail market.”
However she said the new alliance and increased focus on the jewellery offer would see Bevilles exiting from a large range of giftware products.
“This exit plan involves us moving to more appropriate store formats over the next few years and closing down stores that are non-contributors,” she said.
“The aim will be to launch the first new format ‘jewellery only’ stores towards the end of 2013.
“Although I am very excited about the future, my thoughts do go to the wonderful people who will not be continuing their employment with Bevilles. This is a difficult time for us all and their families as we are such a close knit group.
“Over the coming months, however I look forward to sharing our new look and feel with you.”
In a separate letter to suppliers obtained by Jewellery World, Bevilles said the alliance would enable the company to “position itself for some exciting new opportunities”.
“Tara Jewels has been a long standing supplier to Bevilles and is a leading designer, manufacturer and retailer in India and supplier to a number of major retailers globally,” the letter said.
“Tara has recently listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and has as shareholders some substantial blue chip companies such as Swarovski.”
The letter said that all outstanding payments due to suppliers for deliveries that have already been made will be paid by Bevilles but from February 4 all suppliers will required to ship orders directly to Tara Jewels’ Hong Kong office for “consolidation and transhipment to Bevilles”.
The letter also asked existing suppliers to extend the company’s existing payment terms by an additional 30 days until June 30 to assist it as the “transition involves significant challenges”.
Tara Jewels designs, manufactures and suppliers jewellery to retailers in the US, UK, Europe, China, South Africa, UAE and Canada as well as Australia. It also operates 30 retail stores under the Tara name in India.