Birks & Mayors Inc.

January 13, 2006 17:26 ET

Birks & Mayors Inc. Acquires Renowned Jewelry Designer Jose Hess

MONTREAL and TAMARAC, Fla.--(CCNMatthews - Jan 13, 2006) -

Birks & Mayors Inc. (AMEX:BMJ) announced today that it has entered into two agreements with respect to the renowned jewelry designer, Jose Hess. The Company acquired the exclusive right to the designer's brand name, existing and proposed merchandise designs and worldwide distribution rights.

To complement this acquisition, the Company has also entered into a consulting agreement with Jose Hess personally. Within this agreement, he will design jewelry under the Jose Hess brand as well as the Birks brand and will advise the Company on the product development, manufacturing, marketing and sale of his collections.

"Jose Hess is well-known in this industry as an innovator, artist and craftsman, and his sophisticated designs are a natural fit for Birks & Mayors," said Thomas Andruskevich, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are absolutely ecstatic about adding a designer of this caliber to our award-winning team, which will further strengthen our design leadership position within the jewelry industry."

A more than 40-year veteran master goldsmith, designer and gemologist, Hess has been recognized around the world for his inspiration and dedication to the art of fine jewelry. Hess is the first American president of CIBJO, the international jewelry confederation of national trade organizations, whose mission is to establish uniform standards for the jewelry industry worldwide. He is a past president of the 24 Karat Club of New York City and the Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America and a recipient of numerous international jewelry design award competitions.

Birks & Mayors Inc. is a leading North American luxury retailer, designer, manufacturer and wholesaler of fine jewelry, timepieces, sterling silverware and gifts. Birks & Mayors Inc. has 67 luxury jewelry stores, 39 stores operating under the Birks brand across Canada, and 28 stores operating under the Mayors brand in Florida and Atlanta, Georgia.

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