Taste Holdings launches new jewellery brand

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Taste Holdings, which owns the Scooters Pizza and Maxi's franchise restaurant chains, has added Davidowns to its jewellery division, which currently consists of the NWJ chain. This new concept is intended to grow the jewellery division and increase market share.

Taste Holdings is listed on the Alt-X exchange of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The investment company has concluded an agreement that will soon see the launch of a chain of premium jewellery stores as concessions within select stores. The first outlet opened last week at Makro Springfield Park store in Durban.

As a concession within a larger store, Davidowns will pass on savings from reduced overheads and rentals to customers.

According to Duncan Crosson, director of Taste Holdings' jewellery division, the Davidowns concept, which is new to South Africa but practised in other markets, involves buying premium jewellery by the gram with the prices adjusted daily according to fluctuations in the gold price.

The new brand brings together a team of designers and merchandisers who will identify and create pieces that adapt international fashion trends to local preferences. The pilot store aims to compete with top end independent jewellers and features "Weigh It & Wear It" and "Gold By The Gram" offerings. Jewellery is expected to be between 25% and 50% lower than conventional retail prices.

Items on offer include a range of nine carat and 18 carat yellow and white gold and platinum jewellery and branded watches. The jewellery will carry an SABS guarantee of the gold content and diamond jewellery will be stamped with its own unique number that will appear on the valuation certificate that accompanies it. In addition, all diamonds above .20 carats will come with independent certified grading from the European Gemological Laboratory.

Once Taste Holdings has tweaked its business model at the Durban pilot store, it plans to open a further five Davidowns stores within Makros in Gauteng towards the end of the year.

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