INVESTORS BUY JUDITH JACK
Byline: Wendy Hessen
NEW YORK — After 27 years in the marcasite jewelry business, Jack and Judith Rosenberg, founders and owners of Judith Jack Inc., have sold their company to a private investor group led by Michael Horowitz.
The move is calculated to provide the operation, now known as Judith Jack LLC, with the resources necessary to develop it into an internationally known brand, according to Jack Rosenberg.
Terms of the deal, which was signed Nov. 1, were not disclosed. Although neither the Rosenbergs nor Horowitz would provide figures, industry sources estimate the firm’s annual sales to be about $15 million to $20 million.
Horowitz has assumed the title of president and chief executive officer, previously held by Jack Rosenberg. Judith Rosenberg was secretary/treasurer. Both Rosenbergs are now directors and consultants to the firm. While they will remain significantly involved in sourcing, product development and marketing, Horowitz will oversee the day-to-day operations. He will work out of the Judith Jack showroom here at 392 Fifth Avenue.
Horowitz has been with his venture capital group since early this year. Before that, he was executive vice president of Krementz Jewelry, a fashion jewelry firm, for three years. Earlier, he was with North American Watch, now known as Movado Group, for about two years.
Judith Jack has experienced a surge in growth in the last several years, averaging increases of about 25-30 percent annually, Horowitz said. He said the company is on track to register gains of at least 30 percent this year.
In addition to jewelry, the firm has been producing belts for two years and launched handbags and small leather goods earlier this year. They have just started to reach retail. All the product is produced in-house. It also produces licensed marcasite jewelry collections for Mickey & Co., “Peanuts” and “101 Dalmatians.”
“Judith Jack is known among consumers for a quality product, one that I believe has a lot of opportunities for future growth,” Horowitz said, adding that the firm’s extensive distribution network was another attractive part of the deal. It sells to department and specialty stores as well as retail jewelers, gift and museum shops throughout the U.S., Canada, the Far East and Europe.
He said the plan is to double its business in the next three years by developing merchandising programs with retailers; building the assortments in the core jewelry business, its licensed lines and other product categories; opening either Judith Jack freestanding stores or in-store boutiques, instituting a comprehensive advertising and public relations program, and possibly licensing the name to other merchandise categories.