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|Private limited company|
|Founded||(Liverpool, England) 1862|
|Headquarters||15 Golden Square, London, England|
|Terry Burman (Chief Executive)|
Number of employees
|17,200 (2008) (Signet Group Results)|
In 1862, Harriet Samuel (née Wolf) 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 business, and opened the first H. Samuel retail store in Preston in 1890, closely followed by branches in Rochdale and throughout Lancashire. To accommodate the growing business, the company moved to larger headquarters in Birmingham in 1912.
After WW II, Harriet's grandsons, Gilbert and Robert,[who?] took over as chairman and vice chairman. In 1948, the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange. Gilbert was appointed a CBE for political and public services, was elected a Sheriff of 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.
In 2008, the company employed 17, 200 people. There are 303 stores as of 16 February 2015, and the company is currently (2016) headed by Terry Burman, the chief executive.
Acquired by Signet
The chain is now part of the Signet Group, who also owns the Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis jewellery stores in the UK. The Signet Group, listed on the London and New York stock exchanges, owns Sterling—the largest specialty jewellery retailer in the United States of America—which operates the Kay and Jared national brands, and a further ten regional brands. 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.