The worst day for mall diamonds in 25 years

Kay, Jared and Zales’ diamonds are losing their sparkle.

Sales fell at the three mall-based affordable jewelers. Parent company Signet warned that profit heading into next year will be light.

Hurricanes and weak sales on engagement and wedding rings led to a “challenging” quarter, CEO Virginia Drosos said on Tuesday.

Revenue fell $30 million during the quarter ending in late October, pushed lower by a 7 percent decline at Kay.

A customer service mishap contributed to Kay’s slowdown. Kay was in the middle of overhauling its store credit program, and disruptions with the switch caused some customers to cancel rewards plans.

Kay has more than 1,200 stores across the country and makes up about a third of Signet’s total revenue, estimated Citi senior analyst Paul Lejuez.

The sluggish report alarmed investors: Signet’s stock plunged 30 percent on Tuesday. It was the worst day for the stock in 25 years. Shares have now dropped 44 percent this year.

Signet holds a 13 percent market share on a $43 billion affordable jewelry industry, more than double its nearest rival, according to Cowen retail analyst Oliver Chen.

But lagging mall traffic is squeezing stores, said Lejuez.

The lower-cost jewelry business is a race to the bottom, driven by struggling retailers dropping their prices to stay competitive.

Department chains such as Target, JCPenney, Nordstrom and Macy’s offer jewelry selections. JCPenney noted last week that jewelry sales were up on the quarter and expects the uptick to continue during the holidays.

Mom-and-pop stores are also challenging Signet, said Lejuez. Local stores are often promotion-driven or can offer reductions because they’re liquidating.

Amazon and Walmart’s online jewelry collection are also taking a bite out of Signet sales.

Signet clearly recognizes the dwindling power of its mall brands. The company announced it would shed 125 stores in 2018, primarily at malls.

In addition to shutting down underperforming stores, Signet also bought R2Net, the owner of online wedding ring site James Allen, for $328 million in August.

James Allen immediately gave Signet a boost: The company’s overall digital sales spiked 56 percent during the quarter.

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Miami-Dade police release sketch of man who raped woman in car

A woman was sitting in her friend’s car earlier this month in southwest Miami-Dade County when a man entered the vehicle and raped her, police said.

Miami-Dade police released a sketch of the man Tuesday.

The incident took place about 5:30 a.m. Nov. 16 in a parking lot at the corner of Southwest 72nd Street and Southwest 157th Avenue.

Detective Robin Pinkard said the man entered the car and told the woman in Spanis, “They abandoned you.” Pinkard said the man then moved the woman into the back seat and raped her.

Pinkard said the man got away in an unknown blue vehicle.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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Heat great Ray Allen tells court he was ‘catfished’

Retired NBA star Ray Allen said he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen filed an emergency motion in Orange County, on Tuesday, one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he is being stalked by the 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion.

Allen said Coleman is the one who is stalking.

“Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen,” read the motion filed on Allen’s behalf. “Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them.” 

Attorney David Oscar Markus released a statement saying Allen took legal action in an effort to put an end to threats against him and his family, and that Allen was the victim “of an online scheme to extract money and embarrass him by someone who appears to be troubled.” 

In the filing, Allen said Coleman threatened to reveal details of their conversations, and that the sides eventually struck a deal to keep everything private. Allen said that deal has been violated and that Coleman has continued to harass him and his family through several social-media accounts.

“He posted about Ray’s wife, Ray’s children, Ray’s dog, Ray’s homes, Ray’s wife’s restaurant, and numerous other personal items,” read the motion. “Coleman not only posted about these things, he would actually post while physically located inside Ray’s wife’s restaurant in Orlando. And he would make sure they knew it, tagging Ray and his wife on those posts.” 

Allen asked the court to stop Coleman from “cyber-stalking.” It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found.

“Ray regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person,” Markus said. “This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers.” 

Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He won championships with Boston in 2008 and Miami in 2013, the second title coming after he made one of the most dramatic shots in playoff history — a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in regulation of Game 6 of The Finals against San Antonio, a game that the Heat would win in overtime to extend the series to a seventh game.

Allen also played for Milwaukee and Seattle, and last appeared in the league in 2014. He and his family have lived in the Miami area since.

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Student accused of rape faces new charges, won’t be back at Monarch High School

A 19-year-old student accused of rape won’t be going back to Monarch High School anytime soon.

Gibson Sylvain was ordered held without bond Tuesday after the state added four counts of sexual battery against him.

Many parents at the Coconut Creek school were concerned when Sylvain was initially allowed back on campus after his August arrest.

Police said Sylvain raped a woman at a bus stop on Halloween in 2016. DNA taken from the woman’s sweater linked Sylvain to the crime.

Sylvain was back in court Tuesday to face four new charges.

A detective testified in court that Sylvain claimed he thought the woman was a prostitute, and he didn’t have any money for her.

Sylvain’s family refused to speak to Local 10 News.

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John Kerry: Israel Has No Interest in Peace With the Palestinians

Former US Secretary of State, John Kerry, launched another attack on Israel by claiming that the government in Tel Aviv has no interest in fostering peace with the Palestinians. The comments made by the former US presidential hopeful came to light in a recording published by Israeli Channel 10 yesterday in which Kerry praises the […]

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