Claire’s Accessories new necklaces are beautifully designed...
You have probably all heard of Claire’s Accessories, that virulent strain of accessory shops owned by Claire’s Stores Inc that turned in a $4.323m profit after tax last year. You have probably never heard of Tatty Devine, a small exclusive designer jeweller based in the UK. What on Earth could a bargain basement price ‘jewellery’ retailer have to do with some British craftspeople? You can see it coming can’t you, in the same way those 'designers' over at H&M saw a sign by the side of the road.
Tatty Devine were understandably surprised recently to discover that some of their unique designs were actually available in Claire’s Accessory shops. At first they thought it must be a mistake, as they only supply their exclusive work to selected outlets. Or perhaps the necklaces aren’t actually absolutely identical. Let’s have a look (the Tatty Devine piece is always shown on the left).
Tatty Devine sell these necklaces for between £24 and £125. We can only assume that Claire’s is selling them somewhat cheaper. After all, perhaps they haven’t had to pay the designer…
But surely Claire’s would do such a thing. It must be a mistake. After all, in its own annual report, the company states that:
The Company is, from time to time, involved in litigation incidental to the conduct of its business, including personal injury litigation, litigation regarding merchandise sold, including product and safety concerns regarding heavy metal and chemical content in merchandise, litigation with respect to various employment matters, including litigation with present and former employees, wage and hour litigation and litigation to protect intellectual property rights.
The Company believes that current pending litigation will not have a material adverse effect on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
A cynical person might suggest that Claire’s thinks it is too big to be bothered by pesky law suits from smaller independent designers, leaving them free to 'design' at will. I couldn’t possibly comment.
The full story can be found on Tatty Devine’s blog.