Maison Birks, Quartier Dix30, Montreal [Image Source]
Montreal-based Birks, now called Maison Birks, will renovate its 30 Canadian stores as well as open stores in China. The Canadian store renovations will take place over the next 3 years, and the first Chinese Birks store will open in Beijing early next year.

Birks recently changed its name in an attempt to modernize its brand. It faces increased competition from the likes of Tiffany & Co. and Cartier, both opening stores across Canada. The company has recently opened two mono-branded Maison Birks stores, carrying Birks-only products.

We have no further details on its Chinese expansion, though the company is said to be looking to market Canadian diamonds internationally as the domestic market is becoming more crowded. Competition is growing in the Canadian diamond retail market. Diamond powerhouse De Beers will open its first Canadian store in a few weeks in Vancouver, while Cartier continues to seek more retail opportunities in Canada, especially in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. And when Saks Fifth Avenue opens its first Canadian stores, it's expected to feature its famous fine jewelry departments.

Since the beginning of its history as a company, Birks has carried its own branded flatware. After 135 years, this will be discontinued. Also, Birks will stop carrying silver serving items and some other housewares.

The entire Birks organization, including an American subsidiary, recently renamed itself as 'Birks Group'.

This article's source is the Toronto Star. To read their comprehensive article, click here.

[Maison Birks website]