Michael Hill Jeweller

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Michael Hill International Limited
Type Public
Traded as NZX: MHI
Industry Retailing
Founded 1979 (1979) (Whangarei, New Zealand)
Headquarters Brisbane, Australia
Key people Michael Hill (Chairman)
Mike Parsell (CEO & Director)
Wayne L Peters (Director)
Ann Christine Hill (Director)
Emma Jane Hill (Director)
Murray Doyle (Independent Director)
Gary Gwynne (Independent Director)
Products Jewellery
Revenue Increase$489 million NZD (30 June 2011) [1]
Website www.michaelhill.com

Michael Hill Jeweller is a specialty retailer of jewellery in North America and Oceania.

Michael Hill Jeweller operates a retail jewellery chain of 240 stores in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, with over 2,000 permanent employees.[1]

The company's headquarters are in Brisbane, Australia.


Michael Hill and family standing outside the entrance of their first jewellery store
Michael Hill and family in front of their first store

The company started in 1979, when Michael Hill and his wife, Christine, opened their first store in the New Zealand town of Whangarei. A unique retail jewellery formula that included dramatically different store designs, a product range devoted exclusively to jewellery and almost saturation levels of high impact advertising elevated the company to national prominence.[1] The company also received several international awards for window-dressing from renowned brands such as Bulova, Olympic and Omega.[2]

The company grew steadily, expanding to 10 stores by 1987, the same year it listed on the NZX. Also in this year, Michael Hill Jeweller expanded into Australia, opening four stores in four weeks.[3]

In 2002, the company expanded into Canada, opening its first stores in Vancouver.[2] Michael Hill now has a presence in five Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.[1]

In September 2008, the company entered the United States market by acquiring 17 stores in Illinois and Missouri from Whitehall Jewelers.[1][4]

By mid-2013 over 60% of overall sales were from Australia, only 20% from New Zealand, with the rest from North America.[5]

Michael Hill watches[edit]

Michael Hill Watches logo

In late 2006, following a five-year trial,[6] the company launched its own brand of watches under the Michael Hill name, phasing out all but the Citizen brand of watches by the middle of 2007.[7] By mid-2008, only Michael Hill-brand watches were available in the company's stores.[4] The watches range in design; including sports watches with rubber bands and gold bonded watches featuring diamonds and Mother of Pearl faces


Michael Hill Jeweller at the Upper Canada Mall
  • 1979: Michael Hill opens his first store in Whangarei, New Zealand[8]
  • 1981: Michael Hill begins manufacturing his own jewellery in house. Today, over 80 percent of Michael Hill diamond rings are created by Michael Hill craftsmen in one of the world’s largest jewellery manufacturing plants[8]
  • 1986: Michael Hill opens his seventh store in Manukau City, Auckland. This store goes on to become the most profitable in the group, employing over 20 full-time staff
  • 1987: Michael Hill Jeweller lists on the NZX. Later in the same year, the company expands into Australia with the opening of two new stores in Chermside and Indooroopilly, Queensland
  • 2001: Michael Hill begins sponsorship of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition
  • 2004: The 100th store is opened in Mirrabooka, Western Australia. The ‘Evermore’ diamond collection is introduced.
  • 2006: The Michael Hill Watch Collection is launched.[7]
  • 2007: Michael Hill sponsors the first of three New Zealand Open Golf Competitions at his private golf course, The Hills.
  • 2008: Michael Hill enters into the US market with the purchase of 17 stores in Missouri and Illinois. During the same year, Michael Hill is announced the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in New Zealand
  • 2009: The Michael Hill Charms Collection is launched.[9]
  • 2010: Michael Hill announces the closure of 8 stores in the United States as an attempt to scale back losses in the difficult economic environment. The remaining 9 stores are to be refurbished.[10]
  • 2011: Michael Hill will sponsor the New Zealand PGA Championship for a minimum of five years. It will be played at the The Hills Golf Club.


  1. ^ a b c d e Michael Hill International (2010). "Michael Hill International Annual Report 2009". Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  2. ^ a b Hill, Michael (2009). Toughen Up: What I've learned about surviving tough times. New Zealand: Random House. pp. 203–204. ISBN 978-1-86979-046-2. 
  3. ^ Hill, Michael; Bryan Staff (1994). HELLO - Michael Hill Jeweller. New Zealand: Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd. ISBN 978-0-670-86033-3. 
  4. ^ a b "Michael Hill buys into US". Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Fairfax NZ Ltd (17 February 2006), Michael Hill profit up 10 per cent, retrieved 17 August 2013 
  6. ^ McKenzie-Minifie, Martha (25 August 2006), "Diamonds are this jeweller's best friend", New Zealand Herald (New Zealand), retrieved 2010-05-05 
  7. ^ a b Drinnan, John (13 October 2006), "Jeweller counting on own watches", New Zealand Herald (New Zealand), retrieved 2010-05-05 
  8. ^ a b Michael Hill International (2010). "Michael Hill Company History". Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  9. ^ Michael Hill International (2010). "Michael Hill News". Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  10. ^ NZPA (2010). "Michael Hill scales back US operation". Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 

External links[edit]