About Us

Our History

Founded in 1879, Birks has, over the years, become one of Canada’s leading retailer, designer and manufacturer of high-end jewellery, watches as well as gifts.

After the Company’s foundation by Henry Birks in Montreal in 1879, the next 125 years saw Birks grow from a small storefront to an iconic heritage brand, representing a legacy of Canadian luxury. Birks was purveyor to Kings and Queens, and designed jewellery for the likes of Princess Grace of Monaco and Princess Margaret. But that was only the beginning.

1879
1880
1881
1894
1899
1900
1900
1901
1907
1909
1917
1922-1925
1930
1934
1934
1939
1950
1954
1959
1960
1970
1980
1991
1993
1998
2000
2001
2004
2010
2015
2016

1879

The beginning of our legacy. Birks is founded by Henry Birks on March 1, 1879 and a legend is born.    

1880

Moving across the street. Birks moves right across the street to 385-387 St. James Street.    

1881

The corner of Square Phillips. Birks moves to the corner of Square Phillips to what is now a historical landmark. It is home to the first flagship store.    

1894

The first Birks catalogue. The annual Birks catalogue launches. Its essence transcends the years and remains a fundamental part of the Birks story.  

1899

Henry Birks and his three sons. A family portrait of Henry Birks and his three sons: John, William, and Gerald.

1900

Sketch of a sophisticated Birks necklace. A sketch of a stunning Birks necklace. Upholding the highest standards, it showcases our master craftsmanship.

1900

The heart-shaped ring box. In 1900, Birks unveils the iconic heart-shaped box. Later, during the 1930s, the bell-shaped box is introduced.

1901

The expansion of Birks. The eldest son, William Birks, becomes head of the company in 1901. He envisions Birks as a Canadian brand and his goal is to expand. His strategy is based on mergers and takeovers which lead the way to store openings in Ottawa (1901), Winnipeg (1903), and Vancouver (1907).

1907

The new store on Square Phillips. The Montreal flagship store expands. Covering 18,000 square feet, the store is a wonderland of modernism with its electrical and heating systems, not to mention the beauty of its ornate architecture.

1909

From cover to cover. The Birks catalogue illustrates our collections in a simple, yet tasteful manor.

1917

A silver lining. Birks now operates 4 stores across Canada and is affiliated with an important company in Toronto: Ryrie Bros, Ltd.

1922-1925

The Birks yearbooks. A glimpse of the 1922 and 1925 Birks yearbook covers.

1930

The iconic Birks Blue box. William Birks introduces the iconic Blue Box. Over the years, it may change shape and shade of blue but our promise of delight and excitement remains the same!

1934

The Royal Warrant of Appointment is granted to Birks.

1934

Happy Holidays in Vancouver! The Vancouver store opens just in time for Christmas, on December 1st to be exact.

1939

Birks spreads the Holiday joy. Birks loves celebrating the holidays! These catalogues brings to life our holiday spirit.

1950

Birks is at the height of fashion. Another beautiful catalogue cover that’s always chic and simple.

1954

The transition of the Retail industry. Birks is among the first to meet the challenges of the retail industry. The first Canadian shopping centre is built in Dorval and Birks is the first to open a jewelry store within a shopping centre.

1959

The salver and the Queen. Montreal citizens offer a salver to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which is created by Birks to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

1960

Give the gift of delight. A heartwarming catalogue cover portrays the joy of giving (and receiving) a Birks Blue Box.

1970

Birks is always in style. Following the trends of the time, the Birks catalogue is always a style guide.

1980

Hear us roar. The Birks catalogue cover showcases our prestigious lion crest.

1991

The cover of the Birks catalogue. Timeless catalogues featuring the most splendid of items offered by Birks.

1993

Regaluxe invests in Birks Group. Jonathan Birks sells the company to the Regaluxe Group, headed by Dr. Lorenzo Rossi di Montelera. With his forward-thinking visions, he intuitively recognizes the outstanding value of the brand.

1998

Birks takes home a diamond international award. Birks takes home a Diamond International award, one of the world’s most prestigious diamond awards, for La plume de Cyran. An exquisite gold and diamond brooch created by Annik Lucier in the Birks design studio. Birks also collaborates with numerous designers who win distinctions for their works, including Toni Cavelti and Marion Cameron.

2000

Breathing new life into the traditional catalogue. Birks incorporates lifestyle images into their catalogue.

2001

A new look: restoring the Square Phillips flagship store. The extraordinary 18,000 square foot store on Square Phillips in Montreal, known for its iconic architecture, undergoes a major restoration.

2004

Birks shines again. Birks wins the Diamonds: Nature’s Miracle award for Annik Lucier’s design La constellation d’Adamas. Created in the Birks design studio, this piece features 3 rows of diamonds that are 3 metres long and set in platinum.

2010

Birks sponsors the Vancouver Winter Games in Canada. Birks is named Official Supplier of Jewellery for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

2015

The launch of 1879 Magazine by Birks. Birks launches its very own lifestyle magazine. Its title represents the year that founder Henry Birks first opened a small jewelry shop in Montreal under his name.

2016

The Truth. We believe in the promise of a brighter tomorrow. This is a conviction shared by all of our employees.

I love working for Birks because it’s fun and memorable! Our clients love to share their stories with us,  it is so precious!

Elizaveta, Store Director

WHO WE ARE TODAY

+ 138 Year Legacy

+ 400 Employees in Canada

Downtown Montreal Corporate Office

28 boutiques across Canada

E-Commerce available in North America

Wholesale Division

Certified Traceable Canadian Diamonds

46 boutiques across North America

Birks Group is a dynamic company that offers challenging work and interesting projects.  The organization has a strong result-oriented culture where hard work, professionalism and collegiality are valued.  And, all of this takes place in the fascinating world of high-end luxury jewellery and timepieces.

Gassim Bangoura, Director, Legal Affairs

our values

SERVICE

Clients come first!

DEVELOPING TALENT

Recruiting, developing and retaining the best talent

RESPECT

Treating all employees and partners with respect and trust

INTEGRITY

Conducting business professionally and with the utmost integrity

PASSION & TEAMWORK

A commitment to a culture that promotes a passion for teamwork, continuous improvement, quality, creativity and social responsibility

EXCELLENCE

Striving for excellence in all that we do

Our Vision

A never-ending love affair

Our Mission

Build a prestigious brand that always delights

Meet Our CEO

"We believe in the promise of a brighter tomorrow. "

- Jean-Christophe Bédos

Born in Morocco, Mr Bédos lived in France and England until 2012. He now resides in Montreal, Canada with his wife and four children. He is a skilled brand builder within the luxury retail sector, who brings a very relevant background having spent his entire career for more than twenty-five years within the high-end watch and jewellery industry.

In 2012, Jean-Christophe Bédos, formerly head of international jewellery house, Boucheron, took the helm as Birks’ President and Chief Executive Officer, refining the brand’s focus on fine jewellery and setting the gold standard for private label designs. Bédos spearheaded a focus on Canadian pride through an exploration of the country’s vast natural and cultural landscapes. Spotlighting Canadian-sourced gemstones and designs influenced by nature, Birks unveiled a new corporate identity in 2013.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

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Corporate Officers

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