The AlixPartners Growth Retailer Report 2016, in partnership with Retail Week, which “identifies outstanding retailers”, has included jewellery company Gemporia in its top ten.
Editor-in-chief of Retail Week, Chris Brook-Carter, says: “While 2015 was a year that the retail sector was expected to benefit from rising disposable income and consumer confidence, trading conditions have yet to fully reflect this. The retailers in this research report stand out from their peers by having a clear understanding of their customer base, but also how best to meet their needs in a fast-moving consumer landscape.”
For the Growth Retailer Report, profit is defined as earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items with directors’ remuneration added back in. Private companies can take widely differing approaches to directors’ remuneration depending on their ownership and we have therefore removed this variable to avoid potential distortion.
Profit growth is measured by compound growth rate over three years based on statutory accounts. Qualifying companies have a turnover of at least £30 million and profits of more than £3 million in their latest statutory accounts. They must also have two consecutive years of growth and have been profitable in all three years.
According to the report, newcomer to the top ten Gemporia, “has risen to prominence after the return of its founder, Steve Bennett”.
Gemporia has its origins in Gems TV, the TV shopping business founded by retail entrepreneur Steve Bennett in 2004. Gems TV specialised in genuine gemstones and jewellery and was the UK’s first reverse auction shopping channel. This is a concept where the prices of items are gradually reduced until all stock is sold. Prices are competitive as gemstones are purchased directly from the source and the middleman is cut out.
To promote further growth, Bennett entered into a merger with the retailer’s main supplier, Thailand-based Thaigem. Bennett sold out in 2006, however in 2010, after four years, Bennett bought back the company’s UK operations.
Gemporia returned to its initial market offering, focusing exclusively on selling genuine gemstones to hobbyists and collectors, and now sells through three TV channels as well as the Gemporia ecommerce site.
The Gemporia brand has become its main focus and in December 2015 the company rebranded the Rocks TV channel as Gemporia. It has since also started selling a collection of gemstones under the Gemporia brand in House of Fraser stores.
In 2010, after a four year absence, Bennett bought back the company’s UK operations. Under Bennett’s guidance, Gemporia returned to its initial market offering, focusing exclusively on selling genuine gemstones to hobbyists and collectors. The retailer now sells through three TV channels as well as the Gemporia e-commerce site.