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Jean-Christophe Bédos Becomes The New President And CEO Of Leading Canadian Luxury Jeweller Birks

MONTREAL, April 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Birks & Mayors Inc. ("Birks" or the "Company") (NYSE: BMJ) (AMEX: BMJ) is pleased to announce that Jean-Christophe Bédos has officially become the new President and CEO of the Company. Birks is a leading manufacturer and retailer of prestigious jewellery and timepieces since 1879 in Canada, with a solid reputation as purveyor of the most beautiful jewels and the highest-quality diamonds. The Company also operates retail stores under the Mayors brand in the South-eastern United States.

"I am very proud to be taking on the responsibilities of President and CEO of Birks. The Company has deep roots in Britain and since its founding in Montreal in 1879, has built a solid reputation in Quebec and across Canada," said Jean-Christophe Bédos. "For over 130 years, Birks has been a key part of its clients' celebration of milestone moments with its exquisite jewellery, timepieces and other fine gifts. The Company's history is rich and vibrant, and its creations are today cherished by many generations, including royalty and celebrities. I look forward to building on the Company's successes and strong design heritage and brand image," he said.

Jean-Christophe Bédos was President and Chief Executive Officer of luxury brand jeweller Boucheron International, Paris (Gucci Group, PPR) from May 2004 to June 2011. Previously, he was the Managing Director of Cartier France from 2002 to 2004, and International Executive Manager alongside the President of Richemont International from 2000 to 2002. Mr. Bédos started his career in the jewellery industry at Cartier in 1988. He holds a Sloan Master of Science in Management from the London Business School, a LLB in International Law from Université Paris I Sorbonne, a BA (Honours) in European Business from Trent University, Nottingham and a Bachelor of Arts, European Business, from Toulouse Business School. Mr. Bédos is based at the Company's head office in Montreal, Canada.

Birks Diamond Heritage

Birks represents a heritage of trust and uncompromising quality, and its commitment to diamond innovation dates back many years. Since 1879, Birks has set the standard across Canada for quality diamonds, providing meticulous grading and offering only the world's best gems to its customers. Birks recently announced its commitment to diamonds mined in Canada and now offers engagement rings with centre stones made exclusively of Canadian diamonds. Ethically-mined and conflict-free, diamonds mined in Canada are of a superior purity and rarity. Birks guarantees the Canadian diamond's authenticity and offers customers the opportunity to trace the Canadian diamond from the Birks iconic blue box to its mine of origin.

About Birks & Mayors Inc.

Birks & Mayors is a leading retailer with 59 luxury jewellery stores in Canada and the United States. The Company operates 32 stores under the Birks brand in most major markets in Canada and 24 stores under the Mayors brand in Florida and Georgia, two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand and one retail location in Orlando under the Rolex brand. Birks was founded in 1879 and developed over the years into Canada's premier retailer, designer and manufacturer of fine jewellery, timepieces, sterling and plated silverware and gifts. Visit www.birks.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking" statements concerning the Company's performance and strategies. Because such statements include various risks and uncertainties, actual results might differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements and no assurance can be given that the Company will meet the results projected in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the following: (i) economic, political and market conditions, including the economies of the U.S. and Canada, which could adversely affect our business, operating results or financial condition, including our revenue and profitability, through the impact of changes in the real estate markets (especially in the state of Florida), changes in the equity markets and decreases in consumer confidence and the related changes in consumer spending patterns, the impact on store traffic, tourism and sales; (ii) the impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, increases in commodity prices and borrowing costs and their related impact on the Company's costs and expenses; and (iii) the Company's ability to maintain and obtain sufficient sources of liquidity to fund its operations, to achieve planned sales, gross margin and net income, to keep costs low, to implement its business strategy, maintain relationships with its primary vendors, to mitigate fluctuations in the availability and prices of the Company's merchandise, to compete with other jewelers, to succeed in its marketing initiatives, and to have a successful customer service program. Information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 8, 2011 and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this statement or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

About Birks

As Canada's premier luxury jewellery brand and one of the most respected designers, manufacturers and retailers of fine jewellery, timepieces, sterling silverware and giftware, Birks represents a heritage of trust and uncompromising quality. Birks continues to reflect the rich, historical references of the past while maintaining an innovative and dynamic outlook on the future.

Earning more international design awards than any other Canadian jeweller, Birks reflects its proud roots of exceptional quality, while maintaining its focus on design leadership. As the Official Supplier of Jewellery for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Birks is today known as a symbol of excellence worldwide.

Success Rooted in History

As early as the sixteenth century, a member of the Birks family was working as a silversmith in England. The corporate symbol, a stylised lion, dates back to 1694; however the Birks house of jewellery was founded by Henry Birks on March 1, 1879, with the opening of its St. James Street store in Montreal, Canada. The magnificent Birks current head office building, an architectural treasure which also houses its flagship store that opened in 1894, is located in Phillips Square, in Montreal.

Birks and Royalty

Birks is one of only a handful of Canadian companies to have held a Royal Warrant, which was granted in 1935 by Edward VII, then Prince of Wales. This proclamation of the patronage of the Prince of Wales and the House of Windsor entitled Birks to use the phrase "By Appointment", together with the coat of arms bearing the Prince of Wales' motto. The Royal Warrant led Birks to be entrusted with the commission of many gifts presented to the British royal family over the years.

Birks Diamond Authority

Birks has been committed to providing diamonds of a superior quality since its early beginnings. Today, Birks offers engagement rings with centre stones made exclusively of diamonds mined in Canada. Canadian diamonds are guaranteed as "conflict and issue-free" they are sourced in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Birks tracks the provenance of every Canadian diamond it sells and each stone is engraved with a unique serial number that can be traced back to the mine of origin. A certificate of authenticity is provided with every Canadian diamond sold at Birks.

For more information:

Eva Hartling Director, Public Relations & Events Birks & Mayors Inc. 1-514-397-2496 ehartling@birksandmayors.com

SOURCE BIRKS & MAYORS INC.

Stock quotes in this article: BMJ 
Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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