Australian jewellery retail chain Michael Hill International, which had announced in January this year that it is exiting the US market, has now announced that it is closing 24 of its 30 Emma & Roe stores to focus on the lower-sticker-value demi-fine jewellery segment.
The Emma & Roe shutdown is estimated to cost the jeweller between between $4.5- and $6.1 million (A$5.8-A$7.9 million) in lease terminations and employee severances.
Though the group’s overall operating revenue for the six months to December 2017 increased by 4.5 percent to $265.8 million (A$342.2 million), its Emma & Roe same-store sales fell 5.4 percent. A business review then identified the demi-fine jewellery segment. The company said in a statement, “Demi-fine is a relatively new segment of the market combining fine jewellery with fashion for those customers seeking stylish yet affordable items to accessorise their wardrobe.”
The statement went on to note, “The demi-fine segment allows customers with a preference for fine jewellery to achieve their desired look but at a lower price.”
It added, “The company considers that the six store footprint will provide the opportunity to iterate the new model at speed based on customer insights and operating experience.”
Michael Hill International was founded by Sir Michael Hill in 1979 Whangarei, New Zealand. As of December 31, 2017, the group had 347 stores globally.