Maison Birks Announces the Opening in 2014 of its First Store in Beijing, China

BEIJING, China, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Maison Birks, Canada's premier jeweller since 1879, held a press conference yesterday in Beijing to announce the opening of its first store in China, expected to open after the Chinese New Year in early 2014.

The store, to be located at the brand new Xanadu Plaza in the Central Business District of Beijing, for which a lease is currently being finalized, will offer Chinese customers the chance to fully experience the Birks brand in a unique environment that will display the jeweller's latest diamond and fashion collections, including an extensive selection of diamond wedding bands and diamond engagement rings with centre stones comprised of Maison Birks' certified Canadian diamonds. Maison Birks' Canadian diamonds are offered with a guarantee of origin that can be traced back to the mine of origin, offering customers the assurance of ethically-sourced stones. This will be Maison Birks' unique advantage in the Chinese market, where customers are becoming increasingly demanding about the quality and pedigree of the jewellery and precious stones they purchase.

"Maison Birks was the first Canadian jeweller to offer Canadian diamonds to its customers, with a guarantee of origin offering the ability to trace the centre stones back to the mine in which they were found. Today we are proud to be celebrating another first by extending our reach to Beijing, China, our brand's debut of establishing a retail location outside North America," said Jean-Christophe Bédos, President and CEO of Birks Group Inc.

"Our presence in China highlights our authority as a world-class prestige jewellery brand, and offers a link to our recent efforts in rebranding and further developing the Birks brand. Our store will be located in a strategic location at the heart of Beijing's thriving Central Business District, in proximity to the newly-built CCTV Tower," he concluded.

The Maison Birks store in Beijing, China, will be the brand's first retail location outside North America. The store design was conceived in partnership with Sid Lee, a Montreal-based design firm with an international reputation. Inspired by Birks' latest branding and visual platform, the Maison Birks store in Beijing will offer a refreshing shopping experience where the brand's unique history -- which includes the grant of a Royal Warrant to the jeweller in the 1930's by the British Royal Family -- will be leveraged in order for Chinese customers to discover the brand's unique attributes as Canada's longest-standing jewellery company.

Jewellery collections offered in the store will also include Birks' latest designs, all inspired by Canadian nature, from the Birks Butterfly™ Collection to the Birks Muse™ Collection and the Birks Pebble™ Collection.

Along with a group of key fashion and current news media, Mr. Jean-François Lisée, Quebec Minister of International Relations, Francophonie and External Trade joined Maison Birks' press conference in Beijing to celebrate the announcement of the brand's soon-to-be-open China location.

ABOUT MAISON BIRKS

Birks Group Inc. (the "Company") is a leading operator of 53 prestige jewellery stores in Canada and the United States. The Company operates 30 Maison Birks stores located in most of Canada's major urban areas, 20 Mayors stores in Florida and Georgia, two Brinkhaus stores in Calgary and Vancouver, and one Rolex store in Orlando. Founded in 1879, Maison Birks has, over the years, become one of Canada's leading retailer, designer and manufacturer of high-end jewellery, watches, sterling and silver-plated silverware as well as gifts. For more information, visit www.maisonbirks.com.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains certain "forward-looking" statements concerning the Company's expectations, including without limitation, the likelihood that we will be able to successfully finalize a lease in Xanadu Plaza, the likelihood that that the store will open after the Chinese New Year in early 2014; the likelihood that the store will offer Chinese customers the chance to fully experience the Maison Birks brand in a unique environment that will display the jeweller's latest diamond and fashion collections, including an extensive selection of diamond wedding bands and diamond engagement rings with centre stones comprised of Maison Birks' certified Canadian diamonds; the likelihood that the Company will have a unique advantage in the Chinese market; and the likelihood that jewellery collections offered in the store will also include Maison Birks' latest deigns, all inspired by Canadian nature, from Birks Butterfly™ Collection to the Birks Muse™ Collection and the Birks Pebble™ Collection. Because such statements include various risks and uncertainties, actual results might differ materially from those 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 our costs and expenses; (iii) our ability to maintain and obtain sufficient sources of liquidity to fund our operations, to achieve planned sales, gross margin and net income, to keep costs low, to implement our business strategy, maintain relationships with our primary vendors, to mitigate fluctuations in the availability and prices of our merchandise, to compete with other jewelers, to succeed in its marketing merchandising and retail initiatives, and to have a successful customer service program; (iv) our ability to attract and retain its key personnel; (v) our ability to expand into China and to obtain sufficient funding; and (vi) our ability to obtain landlord support for key locations. Information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth in our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 3, 2013 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.

SOURCE: Birks Group Inc.

For further information:

Eva Hartling
Director, Marketing & Communications
Birks Group Inc.
ehartling@birksgroup.com
+1-514-823-7022

Francis Guindon
Manager, Public Relations
Maison Birks
fguindon@maisonbirks.com
+1-514-397-2501, ext. 4065


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