By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
Mumbai--Gitanjali Group-owned chain Samuels Jewelers remains focused on U.S. market growth, with an eye toward strengthening its online presence specifically. 

In announcing its results for the quarter and half-year ended Sept. 30, the Mumbai-based retailer and manufacturer said it would be rolling out a bricks-and-clicks model in the United States and the United Arab Emirates within the next six months. 

While Gitanjali USA did not respond to a request for more details on the model, “bricks-and-clicks” refers to a company that integrates its stores and Internet operations, allowing the customers to move seamlessly between the two by, for example, being able to order an item online and pick it up or return it in the store. This also is known as omnichannel retailing. 

In addition, Gitanjali said it plans to increase sales in the U.S. market by more than 20 percent in the coming year through its retail chain, which said it now ranks as the fourth-largest specialty retailer in the United States. 

Globally, Mumbai-based Gitanjali, which is both a manufacturer and a retailer, reported that sales fell 34 percent in the first six months of the year as it transitioned from selling mostly gold to more “studded” (gemstone) jewelry. 

While sales fell, the transition boosted both gross margin, which increased from 15.9 percent to 19.1 percent, and net profit, which climbed 61 percent year-over-year. 

“In the first half of financial year 2015, Gitanjali has completely realigned its business to focus more on the studded jewelry segment and on the international geographies. Our foray into the affordable jewelry segment has also (brought) us tremendous success,” Chairman and Managing Director Mehul Choksi said.

“We understand the evolving consumer and as part of our innovative strategies, we are increasing our online presence through strategic alliances, and we are also exploring innovative channels for sales to cater to the impulse buying behavior of consumers.”  





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