Suppliers praise CMJ for support over Leslie Cass

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Pandora and Ti Sento credit CMJ for protecting them as jeweller folds.

The Company of Master Jewellers has prevented a chain reaction of losses for its approved suppliers following the collapse of Leslie Cass Jewellers.

The Sheffield-based retailer was driven into administration last week with six figure debts. The CMJ was the its biggest creditor, owing to the stock it sold on credit into the jeweller.

This loss might have been passed up the channel to suppliers including Pandora and Ti Sento, were it not for the creation of a buffer fund over the past few years that can be used to protect suppliers from losses if a CMJ retailer goes bust. The fund might also have been used to assist the retailer had its difficulties come to light sooner.

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“Part of the CMJ’s strategy in recent years is to make adequate financial provisions to provide for this type of eventuality. Due to the phenomenal growth of the CMJ over the past five years, we are fortunate to be in a position to assist our suppliers. The sad demise of a number of retailers recently proves that if Leslie Cass had not been a member of the CMJ, this loss to our suppliers would have been a significant blow,” explained CMJ chief executive Willie Hamilton.

Suppliers praised the work of the CMJ’s chief executive and its chairman Stephen Hughes, which has ensured that all CMJ approved suppliers will be protected.

Peter Andersen, the European president of Pandora said: “As the key jewellery brand within Leslie Cass Jeweller the liquidation of this business would have hit us hard if we had not been a CMJ approved supplier. Even though Pandora are a world leading jewellery brand to have the trust and confidence that Pandora will be recompensed by the CMJ shows how beneficial it is for suppliers to work with the CMJ. On behalf of Pandora, we appreciate the efforts that Willie Hamilton has put into the case on our behalf.”

Ti Sento’s UK brand manager Judith Lockwood said: “The CMJ were not obliged to recompense us as a supplier and to receive assurances from the group mean a great deal to Ti Sento and IBB Amsterdam. It is just one example of the great support we have received from the CMJ to support the growth of the Ti Sento brand in the UK.”

The chairman of the CMJ, Stephen Hughes said: “Although the demise of Leslie Cass Jewellers was a sudden shock to the group, I would like to praise the work that our chief executive Willie Hamilton has put into this case. It was sadly too late to save this individual retailer, but the long hours of negotiation he has put into helping our approved suppliers no matter how large or small they are has shown the benefits of working with CMJ. Five years ago, the CMJ would not have had the funds to support these suppliers."

 

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