Michael Hill Jeweller

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Michael Hill International Ltd.
Michael Hill Jeweller
Traded as ASXMHJ, NZX: MHJ
Industry Retailing
Founded 1979 (1979) (Whangarei, New Zealand)
Headquarters Brisbane, Australia
Number of locations
303 (as at December 2015)[1]
Area served
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States
Key people
Michael Hill (Founder President) Emma Hill (Chairman)
Phil Taylor (Acting CEO & Director)
Products Jewellery
Brands Michael Hill, Emma & Roe
Revenue Increase$489 million NZD (30 June 2011) [2]
Website www.michaelhill.com.au (AU)
www.michaelhill.co.nz (NZ)
www.michaelhill.ca (CA)
www.michaelhill.com (US)

Michael Hill International Ltd. is a specialty retailer of jewellery in North America and Oceania. Michael Hill Jeweller operates a retail jewellery chain of 296 stores (as of June 2015 - MHI Annual Report 2015) in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, with over 2,000 permanent employees.[2] 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.[2] The company also received several international awards for window-dressing from renowned brands such as Bulova, Olympic and Omega.[3]

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.[4]

In 2002, the company expanded into Canada, opening its first stores in Vancouver.[3] Michael Hill now has a presence in five Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.[2] In September 2008, the company entered the United States market by acquiring 17 stores in Illinois and Missouri from Whitehall Jewelers.[2][5] By mid-2013 over 60% of overall sales were from Australia, only 20% from New Zealand, with the rest from North America.[6]

Emma Hill, the daughter of Michael Hill, will succeed him as chairman after the November 2015 annual general meeting.[7]

Michael Hill watches[edit]

Michael Hill Watches logo

In late 2006, following a five-year trial,[8] 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.[9] By mid-2008, only Michael Hill-brand watches were available in the company's stores.[5]


Michael Hill Jeweller at the Upper Canada Mall
  • 1979: Michael Hill opens his first store in Whangarei, New Zealand[10]
  • 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[10]
  • 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
  • 2002: The first store in North America is opened in Burnaby, Canada
  • 2004: The 100th store is opened in Mirrabooka, Western Australia. The ‘Evermore’ diamond collection is introduced.
  • 2006: The Michael Hill Watch Collection is launched.[9]
  • 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.[11]
  • 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.[12]
  • 2011: Michael Hill sponsors the New Zealand PGA Championship for a minimum of five years. It will be played at The Hills Golf Club.
  • 2012: Michael Hill opened a flagship store in Elizabeth Street in the Melbourne CBD this year. The company also announced it was in a $40m NZD dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.[13]
  • 2013: Michael hill announced a new global brand, including bridal products and other jewellery which was more feminine.[14]
  • 2014: Sales in Australia were described as "lacklustre" due to Australian economic performance.[15] The company settled its dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.
  • 2015: The company opens a store in New York City in April 2015.[16] Australian sales improve after poor performance in that market during 2013-2014.[17] Sir Michael Hill moved to a new role of Founder/President, as his daughter Emma became Chairman.[18]


  1. ^ 2015 Half Year Report, Michael Hill International
  2. ^ a b c d e Michael Hill International (2010). "Michael Hill International Annual Report 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Hill, Michael; Bryan Staff (1994). HELLO - Michael Hill Jeweller. New Zealand: Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd. ISBN 978-0-670-86033-3. 
  5. ^ a b "Michael Hill buys into US". Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Fairfax NZ Ltd (17 February 2006), Michael Hill profit up 10 per cent, retrieved 17 August 2013 
  7. ^ Harris, Catherine (15 August 2015). "Following in dad's footsteps". The Press. p. C15. 
  8. ^ McKenzie-Minifie, Martha (25 August 2006), "Diamonds are this jeweller's best friend", New Zealand Herald, New Zealand, retrieved 2010-05-05 
  9. ^ a b Drinnan, John (13 October 2006), "Jeweller counting on own watches", New Zealand Herald, New Zealand, retrieved 2010-05-05 
  10. ^ a b Michael Hill International (2010). "Michael Hill Company History". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  11. ^ Michael Hill International (2010). "Michael Hill News". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  12. ^ NZPA (2010). "Michael Hill scales back US operation". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  13. ^ "Michael Hill in trans-Tasman tax dispute". Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  14. ^ Walters, Laura (2013-10-30). "Michael Hill plans US bridal range". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  15. ^ "Slag Aussie sales hit Michael Hill". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  16. ^ "Michael Hill opens New York store". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  17. ^ "Aussie market picks up for Michael Hill jewellery". Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  18. ^ "Michael Hill takes new founder president role within the jewellery chain". The National Business Review. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 

External links[edit]