Alex and Ani

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Alex and Ani
IndustryJeweller and retailer
Founded2004
FounderCarolyn Rafaelian
Headquarters
Key people
Carolyn Rafaelian (Acting CEO)
Websitealexandani.com

Alex and Ani is an American retailer and producer of jewelry located in Cranston, Rhode Island.[1]

History[edit]

The firm was founded in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian. The name comes from a combination of the first names of Rafaelian's two daughters.[2] The company originally stated that they wanted to produce "bangle bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit".[1] The company first manufactured its jewelry in a factory that was founded by Rafaelian's father in 1966[3] and all materials were made in America.[4]

The first retail Alex and Ani store opened in Newport in 2009,[3] and in addition to the stand-alone stores, the jewelry was sold through national departments stores.[5] In 2011, American retail company The Paper Store LLC invested over $10 million to build "shop within a shop" areas featuring the jewelry brand Alex and Ani in many of their stores.[6]

In 2010 Giovanni Feroce joined the company as CEO and drove the company's expansion, increasing the sales total for the year by more than 20 times its previous annual total.[3][7] In 2011, the company launched its Charity By Design program where 20% of sales go to charity.[8] It also partnered with the Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival to create specialty charms for each ticket buyer of each festival.[9] In 2013 the company partnered with the New England Patriots and New England Revolution sports teams to provide sports-themed merchandise and uniforms.[10] That year the company also published Path of Life: Why I Wear My Alex and Ani, a book co-authored by Feroce and Alex and Ani corporate historian Cyd McKenna.[11]

The company’s revenue grew from $5 million in 2010 to over $500 million in 2016.[12] In 2012, the company acquired a majority stake in the advertising agency Mediapeel after becoming the firm's largest client,[13] changing the company name to Seven Swords Media.[3] Also in 2012, the firm opened its first European branded stores.[13] That year, JH Partners acquired a large stake in the firm, adding it to its lifestyle portfolio.[14] JH Partners cashed out in 2014, selling its 40% stake in the company to British buyout firm Lion Capital, in a deal that valued the company at $1 billion.[15]

In March 2014, Rafaelian fired Feroce, the company's CEO.[16] In March 2015, Harlan Kent, a former CEO of Yankee Candle, became the new president of the company.[17] That year, the company expanded into Japan,[18] and began a partnership with Disney Parks, to provide jewelry for their souvenir stores.[19] Kent left the company within a year.[16]

In 2016, Rafaelian purchased original copper from the Statue of Liberty and the company launched the Liberty Copper Collection.[20][21] In 2017, Alex and Ani became the primary "presenting sponsor" of David Lynch's arts and music festival, the Festival of Disruption.[22]

In October 2017, the company's Australian distributor, House of Brands, closed the Alex and Ani concept store in Melborne, as well as all related kiosks in malls in Australia, announcing that it would shut down the related website in January 2018. House of Brands had been the company's distributor in Australia and New Zealand since December 2015.[23]

At the end of 2017, he company's CEO, Cindy DiPietrantonio, and its CFO, Bob Woodruff, left the company; both had been there for a bit over a year.[24] In September of 2018, the company announced that it intended to sell more of its pieces directly to consumers, rather than through distributors, with a goal of 75 to 80 percent of sales being through its stores or its websites by March 2020, up from its current 50 percent.[25] The company said it planned to open 25 to 30 more concept stores within a year.[26]

In July of 2019, Alex and Ani filed a $1.1 billion federal lawsuit against Bank of America, asserting that the lender had discriminated in its treatment of the woman-led company.[27] The company dismissed the suit in August,[28] and in September 2019 agreed to a new debt structure with its syndicate of lenders, led by Bank of America.[29] As part of the restructuring, Rafaelian had given up her controlling equity interest,[30] and Lion Capital installed a new CEO, Bob Trabucco.[16] In May 2020, Rafaelian was officially terminated as an employee of the company.[16]

On June 9, 2021, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[31] The company attributes their bankruptcy filing to falling revenue in the wake of operational and supply chain difficulties as well as major turnover in their C-suite, which led to a 2019 out-of-court restructuring, plus the Covid-19 pandemic played a major role in the company's revenue decline.[32]

Activities[edit]

The firm produces bangles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings.[33] The company first came to national attention in 2004 when they produced a necklace featuring an apple for Gwyneth Paltrow following the birth of her daughter Apple, leading to many orders of similar merchandise.[34][35]

The firm has begun collaborating with national organizations to create custom pieces and give a portion of proceeds to the respective charity.

A signature design feature of the company's products is the "patented sliding mechanism that replaces the traditional clasp, making each bracelet entirely adjustable" making it "one-size-fits-all".[36] Rafaelian patented the Alex and Ani 14-gauge wire bangle in 2004;[16] it is one of about 30 patents the company now holds.

Awards[edit]

  • 2011 : 470th in the Inc. 500 list and 16th on their retail sector list[37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "New Bedford-native named Mass. Small Business Person of Year". South Coast Today. March 23, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  2. ^ "Alex and Ani in stock". The Independent. July 30, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Leigh Buchanan (April 2013). "The Disciplined and the Divine: An Unlikely Partnership". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Chandra Johnson Greene (July 17, 2013). "Eco-friendly Alex and Ani Jewelry Store Opens in Westport". Weston Patch. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  5. ^ Cordle, Ina (July 16, 2015). "Alex and Ani to open in Miami-Dade: Lincoln Road and the Falls". The Real Deal.
  6. ^ O'Connor, Clare (May 17, 2017). "Bangle Billionaire: How Alex And Ani Founder Carolyn Rafaelian Built An American Jewelry Empire". Forbes.
  7. ^ Darlington, Abigail (August 24, 2014). "Alex and Ani's former CEO to debut new fashion label in Charleston". The Post and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. Retrieved 2016-12-26.
  8. ^ "Alex And Ani Charity By Design Donates $20 Million in Four Years". Golocalprov.com. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Alex and Ani Creates Limited Edition Charms for Newport". Go Local Prov. July 22, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  10. ^ Paul Kenyon (July 27, 2013). "Training Camp Coverage". Providence Journal. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  11. ^ Totten, Laura Rossi (2013-04-08). "Earth Day Style: Eco-Friendly Alex and Ani's Positive Energy Accessories". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  12. ^ Luisa Kroll (1 June 2016). "From Sheryl Sandberg To Beyonce: The 60 Richest, Most Successful Self-Made Women In America". Forbes.com. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Alex and Ani acquires Mediapeel". South Coast Today. April 20, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  14. ^ Dana Mattioli (October 22, 2012). "Private Equity Firm JH Partners Buys Stake in Jeweler Alex & Ani". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  15. ^ Oran, Olivia (2014-12-05). "JH Partners sells stake in jeweler Alex and Ani". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  16. ^ a b c d e Gell, Aaron (2020-07-10). "Unlucky Charms: The Rise and Fall of Billion-Dollar Jewelry Empire Alex and Ani". Medium. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  17. ^ "Alex and Ani names president". NBC 10. May 18, 2015.
  18. ^ "チャームにポジティブな思いを宿して――私だけのエナジー・バングル。". Vogue.co.jp. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  19. ^ "New Alex and Ani Wraps Coming to Disney Parks this Fall". Diszine.com. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  20. ^ Winnie Hu (19 October 2016). "Want an Old Piece of the Statue of Liberty? This Is the Man to See". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Lady Liberty, 130 Years Old and More Beautiful Than Ever". Abcnews.go.com. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Festival of Disruption". Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  23. ^ Mobbs, Emily (October 3, 2017). "Alex and Ani, House of Brands part ways". jewellermagazine.com. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  24. ^ Branstrator, Brecken (January 4, 2018). "Alex & Ani President, CFO Leave Company". National Jeweler. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  25. ^ Manoff, Jill (2018-09-14). "Jewelry brand Alex and Ani shifts to DTC to amplify wellness focus". Digiday. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  26. ^ Bates, Rob (September 19, 2018). "Alex and Ani Plans to Sell to Fewer Independent Jewelers". JCK. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  27. ^ Yakowicz, Will (July 25, 2019). "Jewelry Company Alex And Ani Sues Bank Of America For $1.1 Billion In Gender Discrimination Lawsuit". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  28. ^ Bates, Rob (August 20, 2019). "Alex and Ani Dismisses Lawsuit Against Bank of America". JCK. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  29. ^ Bates, Rob (September 17, 2019). "Alex and Ani Has Restructured Its Debt". JCK. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  30. ^ Bates, Bob (June 30, 2020). "Alex and Ani Founder Carolyn Rafaelian Sues Company's Owner". JCK. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  31. ^ McGowan, Dan; Gagosz, Alexa (2021-06-10). "Alex and Ani files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  32. ^ Howland, Ian (2021-06-10). "CASE SUMMARY: Alex and Ani RSA With Equityholder, Lender Lion Capital Provides for Dual-Track Restructuring, Marketing Process; RSA Would Settle Disputes With Founder". Reorg. Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  33. ^ "Alex and Ani CEO Speaks at Bryant's World Trade Day Kickoff Event". Go Local Prov. June 15, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  34. ^ Donna Freydkin (July 20, 2004). "Sweet sense of style for Apple Martin; Hot stuff". USA Today. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  35. ^ Jessica Shaw (August 6, 2004). "Fruit Of The Womb". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  36. ^ "Special fund for first-time buyers". The Independent. July 30, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  37. ^ "Alex and Ani Named One of America's Fastest-Growing Companies". Go Local Prov. August 25, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2013.

Coordinates: 41°45′19.4″N 71°27′31.0″W / 41.755389°N 71.458611°W / 41.755389; -71.458611