BALLY REOPENS IN BOSTON: Luxury leather goods maker Bally of Switzerland opened an enlarged and redesigned Boston venue last week.
The 4,500-square-foot store, which is within the Copley Place mall, was designed by French interior designer Andree Putman and features Putman’s signature-look neutral color scheme and atmospheric lighting.
Originally, the shop was in a 1,200-square-foot space in another part of the same mall.
Worldwide, Bally is in the process of redesigning all of its stores using the Putman motif and has already redone some of its locations in Europe. The Boston store is the first in the U.S., with several others slated to follow, including the firm’s new New York flagship, which will be at Madison Avenue and 59th Street and is scheduled for a mid-July opening
GOLD STANDARD RISES: U.S. retail sales of gold jewelry continued on an upward spiral by registering a 5.4 percent year-to-year increase in 1994, reaching $10.2 billion. The final quarter of the year also marked the 13th consecutive year-to-year quarterly increase for gold jewelry transactions.
For all of 1994, discount stores, in particular, were key performers. Although discounters accounted for just 12 percent of all volume, they registered an increase of 16.8 percent for the year. Chain jewelry stores, with the largest share of business at 30 percent, showed an increase of 4.5 percent.
Sales were up in all classifications, with charms, earrings, bracelets and chain necklaces leading the way.
HAT BRANDS GETS KORBER: Hat Brands Inc., Garland, Tex., has acquired Korber Hats Inc. of Fall River, Mass., a manufacturer of straw headwear for the golf, casual and women’s markets.
Two of Korber’s senior executives, Michael Korber and Richard Silverstein, will join Hat Brands’ senior management as vice presidents, but will continue to be based at Korber headquarters.