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January 2000

Diamond News

Still Bullish After All These Brands

Hearts on Fire® remains optimistic about the future of its brand

Four years ago Di-Star was a diamond company with about $7.5 million in annual sales. Three years ago CEO Glenn Rothman created Hearts on Fire,® a brand based on the Hearts and Arrows cut, a "zero" cut diamond with "excellent" proportions and symmetry. Early in 1999 the name of the company was changed to Hearts on Fire Diamonds to reflect the brand. Rothman expects sales to have increased to $30 million by the end of 1999.

"We're exactly on-target with our projections," Rothman says of the business plan he wrote in April 1997. He expects to have his product in about 350 stores by 2000 and plans to continue expanding. "We want to be in the top 100 media markets," he says. "That's where we're looking to expand."
Rothman will maintain Hearts on Fire's policy of granting exclusive territories to retailers, though the size of the area of exclusivity depends on the size of the market. He has three retailers in Detroit, for example. "It increases the visibility and recognition of the brand and actually increases sales," he says. "It encourages retailers to cooperate."

Rothman says one key to the company's success, in addition to its brand and the product itself, is its training programs developed for retailers. He has hired Performance Concepts LLC, Olympia, WA (360-754-7763), to handle in-store training. His company also sponsors Hearts on Fire University, an intensive three-day education program on how to sell diamonds.

A third tier of training is what he calls "Boot Camp," in which inexperienced sales associates travel to the company's headquarters in Boston for two days. They role-play in sales presentations then go into a real store to try the techniques. They are videotaped before and after, and a tape is sent home with them to show their progress.

Rothman hopes the company will go public within 18 to 24 months.

  • Hearts on Fire Diamonds, Boston, MA; (800) 343-1224, fax (617) 523-1437, www.hearts-on-fire.com

by Jack Heeger

 

Hearts on Fire's classic promotion photo of its branded diamond.



Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.



 

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