H. Samuel

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H. Samuel
Private limited company
Founded(Liverpool, England) 1862
FounderHarriet Samuel
Headquarters15 Golden Square, London, England
Key people
Terry Burman (Chief Executive)
OwnerSignet Jewelers
Number of employees
17,200 (2008) (Signet Group Results)

H. Samuel is a mass-market jewellery chain, operating in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is part of the Signet Group of jewellery retailers.


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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] To accommodate the growing business, the company moved to larger headquarters in Birmingham in 1912.[citation needed]

H. Samuel, Oxford Street, London, 2016

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Meanwhile, the number of H. Samuel stores rose to over two hundred nationwide.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

In 2008, the company employed 17, 200 people.[citation needed] There are 303 stores as of 16 February 2015,[citation needed] and the company is currently (2016) headed by Terry Burman, the chief executive.

Acquired by Signet[edit]

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.[citation needed]

In 2005 the chain launched its first e-commerce site.[citation needed]

External links[edit]