By and  on November 3, 2009

Italian jewelry firm Damiani has inked a deal with Birks & Mayors Inc. to distribute its products throughout its chain.

The $271 million U.S. jewelry retailer, which has a network of 65 jewelry and watch stores in Florida, Georgia and Canada, has locked into a five-year agreement to sell jewelry from all of Damiani’s lines, including the signature Damiani brand, Salvini, Alfieri & St. John, Bliss and Calderoni, the high-jewelry line.

According to Damiani, Birks & Mayor will purchase $10.6 million worth of goods to be paid annually, starting Feb. 15. Upon termination of the deal in 2015, the retailer may return $5 million to Damiani.

The companies are planning joint marketing and advertising initiatives to promote the lines at Birks & Mayors stores, which employ more than 900 people. Damiani has 37 of its own stores and 41 franchised boutiques worldwide.

Damiani USA president Antonio Pavan said the agreement “poses a prime opportunity for the Damiani Group brands to be present in a much wider territory in the Southeastern United States and Canada.”

Tom Andruskevich, president and chief executive officer of Birks & Mayors said, “Our business relationship is strong and we firmly believe that the various Damiani brands will add yet another dimension to what we offer our clients who are known to appreciate fine design and quality craftsmanship.”

Meanwhile, Damiani has appointed Carla Migliore international licensing director, a new post for the fine jewelry maker. Migliore hails from Gruppo Binda, where she was corporate marketing director for licensed brands, namely D&G, Moschino Cheap & Chic and Ducati.

In her new role, Migliore will be responsible for Damiani’s current licensees Jil Sander, Ferré, Martin Margiela, Ferrari, Maserati and Ducati, and will broaden the portfolio in a structured manner and in sync with the group’s internal departments.

Founded by Enrico Damiani in 1924, the firm recently unveiled a partnership with Maserati, Ferrari and Ducati to launch three separate collections of jewelry, small gift items, desk ornaments and gadgets. Damiani also holds the licenses to produce fine jewelry for Jil Sander, Gianfranco Ferré and Martin Margiela.

In June, Damiani reported consolidated annual sales for the period ending March 31 of 149.8 million euros, or $212.7 million, a 9.5 percent decrease from last year’s 165.6 million euros, or $235.1 million.

In July, Birks & Mayors reported a 26 percent decrease in sales during its first quarter ended June 27 to $53.6 million.

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