Aurum Holdings is the largest prestige and luxury jeweler in Great Britain with around 130 stores such as
Watches of Switzerland,
Mappin & Webb,
The Watch Hut
and The Watch Lab.
With buying Mayor´s Jewelers Inc. Aurum is establishing a really solid foothold in the United States.
Mayor's Jewelers Inc. is a strong player in Florida and Georgia where its portfolio of 17 stores is underpinned by 15 Rolex agencies.
Mayor's Jewelers Inc. has been trading since 1910.
The deal is a vote of confidence for brick-and-mortar retailing!
The United States seem to get more important for Aurum Holdings (https://jobs.aurumholdings.co.uk/jobs/) now. The latter is also opening a Watches of Switzerland flagship in New York City’s Hudson Yards. Interesting to know: Aurum ranks among the biggest distributors of Omega and TAG Heuer and is Great Britain’s largest distributor for Rolex, Cartier and Breitling.
Brian Duffy, CEO of Aurum explains: “We plan to fully utilize the experience and expertise of the team in Fort Lauderdale to support the Aurum plans throughout the U.S. and we look forward to working with our new colleagues at Mayor’s”.
After a lot of unpleasant news coming from brick-and-mortar watches and jewelry retailing in the United States and all the positive synergies this deal might have it still rises some questions ...
Just some information before you read my questions. Birks Group (https://www.maisonbirks.com) - a designer, manufacturer and retailer of jewellery, timepieces, silverware and gifts - was the owner of Mayor´s Jewelers Inc. (http://mayors.com) . By selling to Aurum Holdings Birks Group now has access to the retail network of Aurum Holdings and generated some money to further develop its retail network in Canada.
And here still come my questions:
Is Aurum Holdings starting a cut-throat competition?
Is Amrum Holdings trying to ruin Tourneau and to attack Wempe (in New York)?
Is Aurum Holdings trying to control the distribution of some of the major Swiss watch brands as e.g. Cartier, Omega, Rolex and TAG Heuer in the United States?
Is Aurum Holdings establishing huge, representative show rooms and service centers across the United States for the unstoppable, upcoming e-commerce developments?
Is Aurum Holdings buying this respected jeweler to later transform its retail outlets into huge mono-brands flagship stores - the in the future remaining brick-and-mortar "windows" of top luxury brand?
For me personally it is hard to believe that these days someone is heavily investing in classical brick-and-mortar retailing without in reality having something else in mind ...
One last information that might underline my thoughts: Aurum Holdings was bought by private equity giant Apollo Global Management (http://www.agm.com) in 2013.
Let me know what you think!