Michael C. Fina

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Michael C. Fina Recognition

Michael C. Fina is a private family owned and operated New York City-based fine goods retailer [1] and worldwide employee recognition company [2] headquartered at 33-01 Hunters Point Ave in Long Island City. The company's online store, MichaelCFina.com is known for selling engagement rings, wedding bands, jewelry, fine tableware, vintage silver, bath and home fragrances. The company also helped popularize bridal registries.[3] The company is currently run by the third generation of the Fina family. Steven Fina is President and Chief Merchant of the retail division.[3] Ashley Fina, Owner and President, leads Michael C. Fina Recognition, a separate business that exists under the Michael C. Fina brand.[4]

The Michael C. Fina employee recognition division has offices in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom and services more than 800 companies in more than 100 countries, supporting more than five million employees each year.[5]

History[edit]

Founded by Michael Charles Fina and Rose Rosenblatt in 1935, Michael C. Fina opened on the fourth floor of 580 Fifth Avenue at 47th Street in Manhattan when Rosenblatt negotiated a partnership in exchange for investing in the company. This business partnership was formed between the two with Michael handling the sales and marketing side of the business and detail-oriented Rose handling the finances, shipping and delivery.

Michael and Rose formed a relationship while growing the company and were married in 1941.[6] Their sons George and Charlie grew up immersed in the business and learned every facet of the trade directly from their parents.

In early years the company was a wholesaler specializing in fine silver plate and sterling silver hollowware.

During the 1950s the company expanded into the retail market. Outgrowing the original fourth floor location at 580 Fifth Avenue, the company moved down two floors in the same building to the second floor location that would become the company’s home for the next several decades.[7] The second floor housed a larger showroom, a jewelry department, and a shipping department. During their years in this store, the phrase "Upstairs at Michael C. Fina" was coined, and remained a New York headline for many years.[8]

This phrase was commonly seen in publications such as The New York Times, Modern Bride and Architectural Digest. Michael C. Fina also partnered with numerous television game shows that gave away prizes in the early television era, including Beat the Clock, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Let’s Make a Deal and Treasure Hunt. A partnership with The Price Is Right[9] has lasted since the show began in 1956.

Michael C. Fina was one of the first companies in New York City to enter the bridal registry business.[10] At its peak the company registered over 10,000 brides per year.

MichaelCFina.com launched in the early days of ecommerce and was among the first retailers to offer an online wedding registry, as well as an omnichannel inventory approach. The brand further embraced the internet by extending its presence through an early partnership with The Knot.[11]

In 2016, the company closed its physical store and transformed into an online-only retailer.[11] As part of the move online, the retailer is teaming with Amazon.com and Zola.com. The partnership with Amazon, as part of Amazon’s Wedding Registry, will offer high-end brands, like Baccarat and Buccellati, that have not made their goods officially available on Amazon previously.[12]

In its partnership with Zola.com, an online wedding registry, couples who attempt to register at MichaelCFina.com will be transitioned to Zola.com, where they will be able to access Michael C. Fina products. Pre-existing registries will move over to Zola.com soon to enhance the overall wedding registry experience. Zola offers more than 50 brands and over 2,000 different items from Michael C. Fina’s luxury tableware catalog including Christofle, Haviland and Royal Crown Derby.[13]

Michael C. Fina also continues to sell home goods, maintaining a selection of well-known brands such as Royal Copenhagen, Raynaud, Georg Jensen, Hermes, , Puiforcat and Saint-Louis Crystal.[14]

Employee Recognition[edit]

Entering the recognition business in the 1960s, the Finas incorporated lifestyle gifts alongside more traditional recognition items such as tie tacks and desk clocks.

During the late 80’s Michael C. Fina created the Magic Box to present lifestyle gifts such as televisions and barbecues in the workplace. The box, which contained a framed certificate, congratulatory letter, gift catalog, order form, and optional trinket such as a pen or watch, gave employees the experience of being presented with a gift at work, but allowed them to choose a gift that fit their lifestyle.[15][16]

Today, this segment of the Michael C. Fina business services more than 800 companies in more than 100 countries, supporting more than five million employees globally each year.[17] Michael C. Fina built a 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) World Headquarters and Distribution Center at 33-01 Hunters Point Avenue in Long Island City. This building houses all departments, systems and inventory for the company. Over 92% of the recognition services products ship out of this center with all gift wrapping and servicing done in-house.

While employee service awards and the Magic Box are still the cornerstone of Michael C. Fina’s employee recognition business, the focus of the industry is shifting towards multi-initiative performance management, and the company is offering new products and services to accommodate its customers’ changing needs such as GiftNET, an online gift catalog.[16] In 2009 Ashley Fina was named president of Michael C. Fina, and in 2010 the company became certified as a Women's Business Enterprise by the Women Presidents' Educational Organization,[18] a regional certifying partner of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).[19]

Michael C. Fina Products[edit]

Beginning in the 1980s the Finas oversaw the production of Michael C. Fina brand products. Prior to the official creation of Michael C. Fina products, the company had a partnership with silver manufacturer Kent Silversmiths dating back to 1947 to create custom pieces.

Michael C. Fina created the china aboard the USS New York, the ship crafted from steel salvaged from the World Trade Center.[20]

Notable Shoppers[edit]

Michael C. Fina customers have included Frank Sinatra, Lennox Lewis, the Saudi royal family, President George H.W. Bush and Anna Wintour. Chelsea Clinton also registered there.[21][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://74.54.115.114/node/884#jewels
  2. ^ "You searched for bakers dozen employee recognition?". hrotoday.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  3. ^ a b https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/business/michael-c-fina-park-avenue-wedding-retailer-bets-on-amazoncom.html?_r=2
  4. ^ http://www.inc.com/tim-rice/how-i-did-it-ashley-fina-president-michael-c-fina.html
  5. ^ http://www.hrmreport.com/article/Company-profile-Michael-C-Fina/
  6. ^ https://www.pinterest.com/michaelcfina/michael-c-fina-the-history/
  7. ^ New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. p. 88. ISSN 0028-7369. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  8. ^ http://www.nyc.com/shop/michael_c_fina.243440/editorial_review.aspx
  9. ^ "Everybody Hates Chris - Everybody Hates Playboy - Saturday, May 08, 2010 - mReplay Livedash TV Transcript - Livedash - Search what is being mentioned across national TV". Archived from the original on 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  10. ^ http://www.tablewaretoday.com/Fina-C.htm
  11. ^ a b https://finance.yahoo.com/news/michael-c-fina-moves-upstairs-140800736.html
  12. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/business/michael-c-fina-park-avenue-wedding-retailer-bets-on-amazoncom.html?_r=0
  13. ^ "Michael C. Fina Moves from 'Upstairs at Michael C. Fina' to 'Online at MichaelCFina.com' as Retailer Goes Online Only". 
  14. ^ "Michael C. Fina | Luxury Bridal Jewelry & Registry Retailer". michaelcfina.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  15. ^ "http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=13092991". hreonline.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26.  External link in |title= (help)
  16. ^ a b "Feature Story - Health, Well-Being Come First -- Effective Safety Incentive Programs Can Help Cut Spending". pipmag.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  17. ^ "http://www.hrmreport.com/article/Company-profile-Michael-C-Fina/". hrmreport.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26.  External link in |title= (help)
  18. ^ "michael c fina receives womenowned business certification - Search results from HighBeam Business". business.highbeam.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  19. ^ "HR Vendor News » Michael C. Fina Receives Women-Owned Business Certification From Womens Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)". hrvendornews.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  20. ^ "Michael C. Fina Selected For Custom China Service For USS NEW YORK -- NEW YORK, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ --". prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  21. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/selling-the-family-silver-1405388897
  22. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/business/michael-c-fina-park-avenue-wedding-retailer-bets-on-amazoncom.html?_r=1

External links[edit]