H. Samuel

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H. Samuel
Type Private Limited Company
Industry Retail
Founded (Liverpool, England) 1862
Founder(s) Harriet Samuel
Headquarters 15 Golden Square, London, England And Hunters Road, Hockley, Birmingham, England
Number of locations 375 (February 2008)
Key people Terry Burman (Chief Executive)
Products Jewellery
Revenue $3.665 billion (YE February 2008) (Signet Group)
Operating income $351.3 million (YE February 2008 (Signet Group)
Profit $215.2 million (YE February 2008) (Signet Group)
Owner(s) Signet Group
Employees 17,200 (2008) (Signet Group Results)
Website www.hsamuel.co.uk
H. Samuel on the junction of Briggate and Commercial Street in Leeds.

H. Samuel is a mass-market jewellery chain, operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is the number one middle mass-market jewellery store in the United Kingdom. There are 375 stores as of 23 February 2008. An increasing number of the chain's stores trade in a new format known internally as 'Millennium format' stores. These are typified by removing the arcade-style window displays and having low-level display cases up to the lease line in mall stores and having large ceiling to floor windows in High Street stores. This means the customer can not window shop and must enter the store to see what is on sale.

The chain is part of the Signet Group who also own the Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis high-street jewellery stores in the UK. Signet Group, listed on the London and New York stock exchanges also owns Sterling, the largest speciality jewellery retailer in the United States of America, which operates the number one Kay brand, Jared the Galleria Of Jewelry and a further ten regional brands.

In 2005 the chain launched its first e-commerce site.

Some H. Samuel stores were formerly branches of Ratner's Jewellers, which were re-branded following that brand's spectacular fall from grace in 1992.

History[edit]

The H.Samuel story began in 1862 when Harriet Samuel (née Wolfe) took over her father-in-law Moses Samuel's clock-making and silversmith business in Liverpool. Harriet moved the business to Manchester's Market Street and ran the mail order side. Her son developed the retail area.

The first H. Samuel retail store opened in Preston in 1890, closely followed by branches in Rochdale and throughout Lancashire. To accommodate the growing business, the company moved to large headquarters in Birmingham in 1912.

After the war, Harriet's grandsons Gilbert and Robert took over as Chairman and Vice Chairman. In 1948, the company was successfully floated on the Stock Exchange.

Gilbert was awarded a CBE for political and public services, became a Queen's Sheriff for the City of London and was elected Master of the Clockmakers Company. Meanwhile, the number of H.Samuel stores rose to over two hundred nationwide.

After the brothers' deaths in the late 1970s, Robert's son took over as Chairman. In 1984 he led an acquisition of the James Walker Group, which doubled the company's presence in the UK.

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