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Canadas largest jewellery company has been built up over the years by five generations of Birks The Birks tradition dates to 16th century England where the Birks were engaged in the trade of fine silver By the 17th century they had also become master cutlers and were granted the oldest cutlery trademark on register in Sheffield the home of silversmithing in England The family emigrated to Canada in 1832 Today close to 1000 employees in 36 stores 8 in the GTA area and nine corporate sales locations skillfully manage and present the distinguished Birks product portfolio Birks operations include traditional retail stores and a corporate sales division that sells recognition awards and gifting programs to corporate accounts Birks also has a design studio a fine jewellery factory that produces over 75 of the companys gold and platinum jewellery as well as silver and watch factories all located in the Montreal head office building With this type of history and success there is not doubt that Birks has offered excellent service and products However their business operations including management of the retail and corporate stores has helped Birks to expand over England Canada and now the States In addition Birks has been in business after so many years not only because of their quality of service and products but also due to their excellent management which has rewarded them with ongoing success History of Birks On March 1 1879 in Montreal Henry Birks opened his first retail store At the age of 39 he had taken the first step into a future that was to lead to a century of unparalleled progress The original store quickly became too small and in 1894 Birks relocated to the Montreal landmark building that still houses the companys head office The distinctive nature of Birks jewellery can be traced to the founding of the jewellery studio at the head office location in 1887
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