Byline: David Moin
NEW YORK — Arthur Reiner, a 32-year veteran of Macy’s, has been named chairman and chief executive officer of Finlay Fine Jewelry, a major operator of leased fine jewelry departments in such stores as Lord & Taylor, Burdines, Rich’s and Belk’s.
Reiner, 54, the former chairman and ceo of Macy’s East, succeeds Ronald B. Grudberg, 54, who retired “to pursue other interests,” according to Finlay Enterprises, parent corporation of Finlay Fine Jewelry.
The announcement Wednesday confirmed recent reports in WWD.
Reiner starts his new job today at Finlay headquarters, 521 Fifth Ave.
“This fits my background in the department store business and gives me a chance to work in a category with good growth and good margins,” Reiner said Wednesday.
In the U.S., Finlay operates 797 fine jewelry departments, selling jewelry in gold, diamonds and other precious stones and watches.
Its biggest client is May Department Stores. Federated Department Stores is another major client. R.H. Macy & Co., which was taken over by Federated last month, does not license its fine jewelry business.
Last October, Finlay purchased Société Novelle d’Achate de Bijouterie, an operator of about 100 leased jewelry departments in France at stores including Galeries Lafayette, Nouvelles Galleries and Bazar de L’Hôtel de Ville.
Finlay’s volume last year was in excess of $500 million. Two investment firms, Thomas H. Lee Co. and Desai Capital Management, own the majority stake.
Reiner started his career in 1962 as a trainee at the Bamberger’s division of Macy’s. He steadily rose through buying and merchandising assignments, became senior vice president of merchandising at Macy’s New York in 1975, president of the chain in 1980, and chairman and ceo of Macy’s East in 1988. He was squeezed out of that position last fall due to the merger of Macy’s and Federated.
Reiner said that for the first couple of months he will review the company and get acquainted with the organization before formulating growth plans.
“The company has done well in the last four years,” Reiner said, adding that its future should be bolstered by its position in department stores.
“Department stores should do well in the next five years relative to other parts of the industry,” Reiner said. “In many cases, they have moved to a more efficient operating scenario, have fewer stores in many markets and offer more of an attraction to people.”