Spanish brand Tous eyeing US expansion

Basel--Tous, a jewelry brand that sells five-micron vermeil, sterling silver and karat gold jewelry, much of which is emblazoned with its signature bear, is searching for a distributor to expand its presence in the U.S. market.
Now under the operation of its third generation, Tous started as a jewelry and watch repair shop in Manresa (Barcelona), Spain in 1920. But it wasn’t until 65 years, and another generation, later that it found the bear that has become its symbol.

As the story goes, Rosa Oriol, the wife of the founders’ son Salvador Tous, saw a shop window full of teddy bears on a trip to Milan in 1985, and started making gold bears for her friends. It was so well-received that Tous started manufacturing jewelry bear en masse for its clients as well.

The bear celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and Tous, which first expanded outside of Spain in 1997 when it opened stores in Japan, has 495 locations worldwide. Its second biggest market after Spain is Mexico.

The brand’s footprint is a mix of standalone boutiques, department store shop-in-shops and wholesale accounts with retail jewelers, said Oscar Santos, the company’s director of expansion and retail travel, in an interview at the brand’s booth at Baselworld.

In the U.S., there are 26 standalone Tous stores already.

In addition, Puerto Rico’s Reinhold Jewelers --which is owned by Marie Helene Morrow, who is known for being the first to carry designers and brands that later become wildly popular--carries Tous, and Reinhold also operates six standalone Tous stores on the island.

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