The logo of the Birks banner on a jewellery box
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|Jean-Christophe Bédos (CEO) Henry Birks|
Birks Group (formerly Birks & Mayors) is a designer, manufacturer and retailer of jewellery, timepieces, silverware and gifts, with stores and manufacturing facilities located in Canada and the United States. As of June 30, 2015, it operates stores under three different retail banners: 27 Maison Birks stores across Canada (formerly Birks), 17 Mayors stores in Florida and Georgia, and 2 Brinkhaus stores in Vancouver and Calgary. The company also operates one Rolex-branded store in Orlando. The company is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, with American corporate offices located in Tamarac, Florida.
Birks Group was created in November 2005 through the merger of the Henry Birks and Sons Ltd. chain in Canada and the Mayors Jewelers Inc. chain in the United States.
Birks Group traces its origins to the opening by Henry Birks of a small jewellery shop in Montreal in 1879.
With an investment of CAD$3,000, in 1879 Henry Birks opened a small jewellery shop on Saint Jacques Street in the heart of Montreal's financial and commercial district. In 1893, Birks went into partnership with his three sons (William, John and Gerald), and the name of the firm became Henry Birks and Sons. As the focus of Montreal's commercial centre moved northward towards Saint Catherine Street, the Birks store moved to new premises on Phillips Square in 1894, where the company still maintains a store and corporate offices.
Commencing in 1901, Birks oversaw the expansion of the company across Canada, with stores opening in the country's largest cities. In some cases, it bought local jewellers, adding its name to the local one. For instance the Birks store in Toronto was Birks-Ryrie and the one in Winnipeg was Birks-Dingwall. In 1953, Henry Birks and Sons bought out Roden Bros. Ltd., a company that produced silver hollowware, flatware, cut crystal, and medals. In 1955, the company successfully sued the City of Montreal before the Supreme Court of Canada for forcing it to close on Catholic holidays, in Henry Birks & Sons (Montreal) Ltd. v. the City of Montreal.
In 2007, Birks was named as the Official Supplier of Jewellery for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The Ottawa store on Sparks Street became a source of gifts to Official Parliamentary visitors during its existence.
The Mayors chain was founded in 1910 in Ohio.
Maison Birks has six flagship stores in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Mayors’ flagships are PGA Commons and Town Center at Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale, Dadeland Mall in Kendall and Buckhead in Atlanta.
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