Birks: The Sparkle of a Cherished Brand
By 2016, Birks Group Inc. (Birks) had largely recovered from the 2008 financial crisis and was posting profits again. Birks was a high-end designer and manufacturer of Birks-branded jewellery and a mono-brand and multi-brand retailer of luxury jewellery and watches. It operated 29 retail outlets across Canada under its Maison Birks and Brinkhaus banners and 17 stores in two U.S. states (Florida and Georgia) under the Mayors banner. After restructuring the company and rehabilitating the brand, Birks's experienced chief executive officer wondered how to take the iconic Canadian company further in a rapidly changing market. He had to decide what balance Birks should strike in pushing the brand in different markets: Canada, existing U.S. markets, new U.S. markets, and international markets. Although the luxury jewellery industry had not performed well in the digital marketplace to date, he was eager to investigate Birks's e-commerce options as well. What were the best ways to grow Birks and optimize resources and effort? Robert Mackalski is affiliated with McGill University.