NEW YORK — Two key executives have resigned from the jewelry group of financially ailing Crystal Brands — Ed Bucciarelli, vice president of design, and John Wagstaff, executive vice president.
Bucciarelli, who held his post for about two years, has become vice president and national sales manager for the new Guess jewelry division at Swank.
Wagstaff has become vice president of sales for the department store division at Coach. He replaced John Brody, who left Coach. Brody’s plans were not known. Wagstaff held the executive vice president title at Crystal Brands jewelry for a year, and earlier he was president of the Trifari unit.
According to Judy Harrison, president and chief executive officer of the Crystal Brands jewelry group, Ellen Soto and Pat Scheckner will share Bucciarelli’s responsibilities but keep their current titles. Soto is director of design for the Monet line, and Scheckner is director of design for the Trifari and Marvella brands.
Both will report to Harrison, as will Mark Nathanson, national sales manager, who has assumed Wagstaff’s duties. The title of executive vice president has been eliminated.
Meanwhile, the jewelry business continues to be up for sale. As reported, in the fourth quarter of last year, Crystal Brands, which has been in Chapter 11 since January, took a $51.1 million charge, reflecting a write-off of good will and intangible assets of the jewelry business.
However, in an interview last week, Charles J. Campbell, Crystal Brands’ chairman and ceo, said the jewelry operations are starting to turn around.
Campbell said the investment firm of Bear Stearns has been retained to investigate and talk with potential buyers about purchasing the division, but noted that Crystal Brands would consider a sale only if “we were to realize full value for the business.” He would not say what that value is.
Industry sources estimate the jewelry group — whose three brands, Monet, Trifari and Marvella, are long-established staples of the industry — do about $175 million in annual sales.
Although the firm does not release separate figures for its jewelry business, Campbell said the improvement should be reflected in Crystal Brands’ first-quarter results, which will be reported later this month. In all of 1993, Crystal Brands, which also makes men’s and women’s sportswear, posted a loss of $216.1 million, including various special charges, and sales of $444.3 million.
Campbell characterized the current jewelry figures as “very positive, especially at Monet.” He added that Trifari and Marvella have also “stabilized” and are now performing well at retail.
“Changes we made several months ago are just beginning to be felt at retail,” Campbell said, “resulting in fewer markdowns, discounts and allowances, all based on stronger product.”
He noted that the division has increased its fulfillment rate, which he said was “well below 90 percent” a year ago, to about 93 to 95 percent.