Signet’s JamesAllen purchase gives a technological boost

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Acquisitions and investments have been on a bloom as jewelers are looking for expanding their network and give customers a great buying experience. Aurum Holdings bought Birks Group’s US-based Mayors Jewelers and Manhattan-based jewelry start-up AUrate raised USD 2.63 million in a seed funding, both with a common purpose to open new stores and establish their brands. Continuing with the trend, Signet Jewelers, recently acquired JamesAllen for USD 328 million.

This deal has brought together the fourth and fifth largest online jewelers according to the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500. In 2016, Signet and JamesAllen had a combined total of USD 651.1 million e-Commerce sales. According to the data at, JamesAllen had a 50% web sales growth more than major jewelry distributors like Richline Digital and Tiffiany & Co.

This acquisition comes with a purpose to strengthen the innovation and digital capabilities and to develop a good shopping experience for the customers. R2Net’s (JamesAllen’s Parent company) digital expertise is what made it a potential acquisition option.

Virginia Drosos said, “The acquisition will enhance our innovation and digital capabilities with R2Net’s technology to create a best-in-class omnichannel shopping experience across our banners.”

The management and brand of JamesAllen is to be retained and will operate as an independent division of Signet led by Oded Edelman. He is also to become the chief digital innovation adviser of Signet and would report directly to Signet CEO Virginia Drosos.

It was only a couple of months back, that JamesAllen raised USD 140 million from Francisco Partners, a Private Equity firm from San Francisco. The funding was initiated with a view to invest in technology innovations.

As part of the deal Signet acquires R2Net’s subsidiary Segoma Imaging Technologies. The subsidiary provides features JamesAllen’s e-commerce website is famous for. The 360 degree HD Diamond display technology allows the customers to view the diamond’s quality, shape, cut color, clarity and sparkle. The diamonds are photographed with 15x or greater magnification in 360 degree HD. Also, the virtual vault features allows the customers to view 15,000 globally sourced diamonds, more than a customer can view in a store. The diamonds are displayed in an attractive 360 degree HD movie. This also allows store employees to manage inventory simultaneously.

With a vision to transform jewelry sector by digitizing the customer experience, R2Net is expected to contribute around USD 80-90 million to Signet’s revenue in fiscal 2018.

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