Bulgari is an Italian luxury goods company that has been owned by the French firm LVMH since October 2011. The trademark is usually written BVLGARI in the classical Latin alphabet (where V = English U), and is derived from the surname of the company’s Greek founder, Sotirios Voulgaris. Although the company made a name for itself with jewelry, today it is a diversified luxury brand that produces and markets several product lines including watches, fragrances, accessories, and hotels.
Sotirios Voulgaris began his career as a jeweler in his home village Paramythia, where his first store can still be seen. In 1877, he left for Corfu and then Naples. In 1881 he finally moved to Rome, where in 1884 he founded his company and opened his second shop in via Sistina.
The store in Via Sistina was then replaced by the current flagship store in via dei Condotti opened in 1905 by Bulgari with the help of his two sons, Costantino (1889–1973) and Giorgio (1890–1966).
During the Second World War, Costantino Bulgari and his wife, Laura Bulgari, hid three Jewish women in their own Roman home. They were strangers to them; the Bulgaris opened their doors out of outrage for the raid of the Roman ghetto in October 1943. For their generous action, on 31 December 2003, they were awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations atYad Vashem in Jerusalem.
After Giorgio’s death in 1966, his son Gianni led the company as co-chief executive with his cousin Marina. As chairman and CEO of Bulgari in the early 1970s, Gianni initiated the internationalization of the company by opening shops in New York, Geneva, Monte-Carlo and Paris. In the late 1970s, Gianni led a complete overhaul of the company, establishing a new watch business and focusing on product design. In 1985, Gianni resigned as CEO and in 1987, he left the family business after selling his one-third stake in the company to his brothers Nicola and Paolo.
On 6 March 2011 French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA announced that it was acquiring Bulgari SpA in an all-share deal for €4.3 billion ($6.01 billion), higher than LVMH had offered for any other company. Under the deal, the Bulgari family sold their 50.4 per cent controlling stake in exchange for 3 per cent of LVMH, thereby becoming the second-biggest family shareholder behind the Arnaults in LVMH. The takeover doubled the size of LVMH’s watches and jewelry unit, which at the time of the acquisition included Tag Heuer timepieces and De Beers diamond necklaces. The acquisition concluded on 4 October 2011 as Bulgari was delisted from the Borsa Italiana.
Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dillard’s is a mid-range to upscale department store chain in the United States, with 330 stores in 29 states. Its main competitors are Belk, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.
Dillard’s is the outgrowth of a department store founded in 1938 by William T. Dillard; its corporate headquarters remain located in the eastern edge of Little Rock’s Riverdale area, and many of its executives and directors are members of the Dillard family.
Dillard sold the original Nashville, Arkansas store to develop a larger one in Texarkana, Texas initially as the minority partner in Wooten & Dillard. In 1956, Dillard led an investment group that acquired the Mayer & Schmidt store in Tyler, Texas. This store eventually took on the name “Dillard’s Mayer & Schmidt” until 1974, when it was replaced with a mall-based location south of downtown Tyler.
In 1960, Dillard acquired and turned around the failing Brown-Dunkin store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The success of this turnaround was followed in late 1963 by acquiring the Joseph Pfeifer store in Little Rock, Arkansas, and in early 1964 acquiring the other main store in Little Rock, Gus Blass Co. Dillard used this as an opportunity to relocate his headquarters to Little Rock. In 1969, Dillard and his investors took Dillard Department Stores, Inc., public on the American Stock Exchange.
Thereafter, the chain grew rapidly as an anchor in suburban shopping malls, and took advantage of market conditions to acquire smaller chains as well as its ability to turn around locations that other companies could not operate profitably.
Christian Louboutin is a French footwear designer whose footwear has incorporated shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature. These are some of the most coveted and expensive chic shoes one can own. Just look at the tabloids at all the hot celebrities the are wearing them.
Louboutin helped bring stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, designing dozens of styles with heel heights of 120mm (4.72 inches) and higher. The designer’s professed goal has been to “make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as [he] can.” While he does offer some lower-heeled styles, Louboutin is generally associated with his dressier evening-wear designs incorporating jeweled straps, bows, feathers, patent leather, red soles and other similar decorative touches. He is most popularly known for his red-bottom high heel shoes, commonly referred to as “sammy red-bottoms.”
Despite being known for his celebrity clients, he rarely gives shoes away – offering discounts instead to his high-profile fans. This policy also extends to his personal family, because he feels that giving shoes away as gifts is unimaginative.
His single biggest client is one of the Danielle Steel who is an American novelist, currently the bestselling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold. She is reputed to own over 6,000 pairs and is known to have purchased up 80 pairs at a time when shopping at his stores.
Barneys New York is an American chain of luxury department stores headquartered in New York City. The chain owns large stores in New York City, Beverly Hills, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale, and smaller stores in other locations across the United States.
Brands sold include Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Louboutin, The Row, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Maison Martin Margiela, Lanvin, Balenciaga, Prada, Alexander Wang, Jil Sander, Manolo Blahnik, Thom Browne, Dries van Noten, Diane von Furstenberg, Bettanin & Venturi and Burberry Prorsum, as well as Barneys private label merchandise. The New York, Chicago, and Beverly Hills stores also have restaurants that are operated by third parties.
Saks Fifth Avenue is an upscale department store chain owned by American multinational corporation Saks Incorporated, which operates the flagship store and corporate headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It competes with high-end specialty stores in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, notably Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, and Bloomingdale’s; it also competes with luxury retailers Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor.
Saks Fifth Avenue is the successor of a business founded by Andrew Saks in 1867 and incorporated in New York in 1902 as Saks & Company. Andrew died in 1912 and in 1923, Saks & Co. merged with Gimbel Brothers, Inc., operating as a separate autonomous subsidiary. On September 15, 1924, Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel opened Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.
When Bernard’s brother, Adam Gimbel, became President of Saks Fifth Avenue in 1926 after Bernard’s sudden passing, the company took on national aspirations, opening its very first branch store that year in the city ofPalm Beach, Florida, as a seasonal resort store, followed by a second resort store in Southampton, New York, in 1928. The first full-line year-round Saks store was opened in Chicago, Illinois, in 1929, followed by another resort store in Miami Beach, Florida. In 1938, Saks expanded to the West Coast, opening in Beverly Hills, California. By the end of the 1930s, Saks Fifth Avenue had a total of 10 stores, including resort locations such as Sun Valley, Mount Stowe, and Newport. More full-line stores followed with Detroit, Michigan, in 1940 and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1949. In downtown Pittsburgh, the company moved to its own freestanding location approximately one block from its former home on the fourth floor in the downtown Gimbel’s flagship. The San Francisco location opened in 1952. More expansion followed from the 1960s through the 1990s including Texas, the Midwest, and the South.
BATUS Inc. acquired Gimbel Bros., Inc. and its Saks Fifth Avenue subsidiary in 1973 as part of its diversification strategy. In 1990, BATUS sold Saks to Investcorp S.A., which after investing in the company and weathering the early 1990s recession took Saks public in 1996 as Saks Holdings, Inc. In 1998, Saks Holdings Inc. was acquired by Proffitt’s, Inc., then the parent company of Proffitt’s among other department stores. Upon closing of the acquisition, Proffitt’s, Inc. changed its name to Saks Incorporated.
In 2005, vendors filed against Saks alleging unlawful chargebacks. The SEC formally investigated the complaint and Saks settled with the SEC in 2007.
In August 2007, the United States Postal Service began an experimental program selling the plus Zip Code extension to businesses. The first company to do this was Saks Fifth Avenue which received the zip code of 10022-SHOE for the eighth floor shoe department in its flagship Fifth Avenue store. Today, the New York flagship store accounts for a significant amount of the entire chain’s annual revenue.
Since 2000, Saks has closed a number of locations, including White Plains, Garden City, and Southampton in New York, as well as other suburban, and “downtown” locations around the country. The focus has been to have a smaller number of stores in each key market, and thus make those stores destinations within their respective markets. As an example, the Saks 5th Avenue location at the Shops at Prudential Center in Boston is the only Saks 5th Avenue store in the Boston metropolitan area, and the location in Bala Cynwyd is the only location in the greater Philadelphia market. Saks closed its 60 year-old downtown Pittsburgh location on March 17, 2012.
Bergdorf Goodman is a luxury goods department store based on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. The company was founded in 1899 by Herman Bergdorf and was later owned and managed by Edwin Goodman, and later his son Andrew Goodman.
Today, Bergdorf operates from two stores situated across the street from each other at Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets. Bergdorf Goodman’s main store, which opened at its current location in 1928, is located on the west side of Fifth Avenue. A separate men’s store, established in 1990, is located on the east side of Fifth Avenue, directly across the street.
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