By Lenore Fedow
A pair of 18-karat gold and diamond statement earrings ($14,000) David Yurman debuted at the 2019 Couture show. The jewelry company laid off 98 employees as it struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
New York—David Yurman laid off 98 employees at the corporate level in recent weeks following companywide furloughs earlier in the year.

The layoffs began June 30 as a result of “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19,” according to a filing with the New York Department of Labor.

The company did not respond to National Jeweler’s request for comment, but told WWD that “these challenging decisions were made in order to ensure a healthy business for the future.”

The layoffs affected mainly the marketing, product development, engineering and finance departments, said David Yurman.

The company began furloughing a majority of its corporate and retail staff in April, retaining only a small team to handle day-to-day operations.

Shortly after the furloughs, the Yurman Family Foundation committed to donating $1 million to U.S. charities aiding in the fight against COVID-19.

“Our hope is this will go in some way towards helping so many of our friends, neighbors, employees and customers who are going through this challenging time,” said the family in a statement on the website.

The company has faced a challenging time of its own as the U.S. market, its largest, continues to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic with a recent surge of cases in the South and West.

While other jewelers can shift focus to reopened markets, WWD noted that David Yurman relies on the U.S. for 90 percent of its global sales.

The company opened a new Manhattan flagship on East 57th Street in December 2019, in the iconic Fifth Avenue shopping area alongside Burberry, Saint Laurent, the under-construction Tiffany & Co. flagship, and other luxury stores.

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