National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Circa buys online seller of pre-owned luxury goods

March 14, 2014


Circa said the acquisition of Portero.com addresses a demand from its clients to purchase pre-owned jewelry, watches and handbags from a seller that authenticates them.

New York--Circa, a New York-based buyer of fine jewelry and watches, said Thursday that it has acquired Portero.com, an online retailer of authenticated, previously owned luxury items including fine jewelry. 

Portero, which was owned by private equity firm LFE Capital, has moved from its offices, located on Madison Avenue between 39th and 40th streets, into Circa headquarters, which are located farther uptown on Madison, between 48th and 49th streets. 

The website’s day-to-day operations are run by Alexis Clarbour, who reports to Circa and Portero Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer Jayne Conway, who is running both companies. Circa currently has no official CEO following the departure of interim CEO Mary Forte, the former head of Zale, in January. 

Portero has a dozen employees and Circa said it is keeping all of them. 

In the spring, both companies plan to re-launch their websites with more content and cross-promotional shopping opportunities for consumers, including curated boutiques on Portero.com. In April, for example, there’ll be a Mother’s Day boutique on the site with estate jewelry and vintage Hermès handbags. A bridal boutique is scheduled to go up in May featuring vintage engagement rings. 

Circa was established in 2001 and buys pre-owned jewelry, loose diamonds and watches at its 14 offices worldwide, including New York, Hong Kong, Beverly Hills, and Barcelona, Spain. Circa is backed by Winona Capital Management LLC, which sunk $13 million into the company in 2011. 

Portero.com launched in 2004 and is based in New York City.