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More Jewelers Close Up Shop Due to COVID-19

Stuller, Watches of Switzerland and Birks have temporarily shut stores amid pandemic.
Mar 24, 2020 10:51 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... A number of jewelers and manufacturers are shutting temporarily following government orders amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Stuller has closed its Louisiana headquarters and suspended all on-site operations in accordance with Governor John Bel Edwards’s stay-at-home order, it said Monday. The site will remain closed through Sunday.

“Ultimately, we believe temporarily suspending operations in our Lafayette facility is the right thing to do for our coworkers, our communities, and our country,” sad Stuller CEO Matt Stuller. “We are committed to resuming normal business operations as soon as the ‘stay-at-home’ order is lifted.”

During the shutdown, Stuller will continue to serve customers by phone and live chat, it said.

Meanwhile, Birks Group has shuttered all stores in Canada until at least April 1 to ensure the health and safety of its employees and customers, it said. The closures include the company’s flagships under the Birks name in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as the Brinkhaus store in Calgary, and its Graff and Patek Philippe locations in Vancouver.

“Our store closures are a result of the unforeseeable circumstances caused by the COVID-19 virus and the guidance of government and public health officials,” said Birks CEO Jean-Christophe Bédos. “We must take steps to respond to this unprecedented event while protecting our employees and customers, as well as to adjust to what we believe will be a temporary issue.”

The jeweler will reevaluate the length of its shutdown as new information becomes available, it said. In the meantime, it has established a concierge service for any clients needing assistance, it noted.

Watches of Switzerland has also closed all locations for its brands in both the US and the UK, and is taking necessary steps to minimize the impact, it said. 

“We are anticipating a continuation of the store closures into our new financial year, which begins on April 27, 2020,” said Watches of Switzerland CEO Brian Duffy. “We remain confident in the strong fundamentals that underpin the luxury-watch category, including its great value preservation. Demand remains strong and we anticipate that this will be the case when the market returns to more normal conditions.”

Image: Stuller global headquarters. (Stuller)
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Tags: Brian Duffy, Briks, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Graff, Jean-Christophe Bédos, Matt Stuller, patek philippe, Rapaport News, stuller, Watches of Switzerland
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