If it sparkles, you can probably find it on Jewelry TV. The largest retailer of loose gemstones and one of the top four electronic jewelry retailers in the US has had its headquarters in Knoxville since the company’s inception in 1993. Recently, the company announced a $25-million investment (expected to rise to $42 million in the first five years) into the purchase and expansion of its national headquarters.
“By adding a global headquarters for a $500-million company to the Knoxville area, JTV attracts premier global talent to Tennessee to tackle fascinating challenges facing our teams as we seek to open the world of jewelry and gemstones to everyone,” says Tim Matthews, president and CEO of Jewelry Television (JTV). “JTV brings a strong mix of jobs to east Tennessee, like software engineers, data scientists, computer hardware specialists and others who enjoy working in this fast-paced, dynamic environment.”
Johnson Architects and Jenkins & Stiles, two local firms, were awarded with the construction contracts for the new facility. Two years ago, the company also invested in an award-winning park and fitness complex adjacent to their headquarters.
The network was founded in East Tennessee and remains in Knoxville to this day. “When the network began the founders lived in East Tennessee. While two had lived elsewhere in the country, and in other countries, they all found themselves back in Tennessee, near their homes,” says Matthews. “So they felt strongly that Knoxville should be the location for the company’s headquarters. Tennessee is a business-friendly state with low taxes and a place where it is easy to conduct business.”
Formerly called America’s Collectibles Network, JTV employs over 1,300 individuals in Knoxville in functions that range from global merchandising to finance and technology to data infrastructure, marketing, enterprise data warehousing and software engineering.
The choice to go from America’s Collectibles Network to Jewelry Television was an easy one, according to Matthews. The founders wanted to focus on selling jewelry and loose colored gemstones because they were the most passionate about these products. And focusing has allowed JTV to be the largest retailer of loose colored gemstones in the world. “This was also the time of burgeoning cable network proliferation,” says Matthews. “Networks were moving away from ‘network’ in their name and putting ‘TV’ in the name like HGTV, Spike TV, etc.”
As one of the top four largest jewelry retail websites in the world and one of the fastest growing companies in retail, the company brings to Knoxville a business that broadcasts into more than 80 million homes. Running 24 hours a day, JTV knows what will be successful on air by strategically developing programming around product categories, product launches, designers and expert guests in order to constantly engage customers. Recently, the network tried something new with its first reality series aired by a home shopping network, JTV’s “Rockstar Designer.”
Matthews expresses many more benefits to cultivating JTV’s brand and growing its business in Knoxville. By employing around 100 graduates of the University of Tennessee, JTV knows the value it has in East Tennessee. “Knoxville is a great production town,” says Matthews. “With Scripps [Networks Interactive] also located here, there is a great talent pool available. The University of Tennessee is located in Knoxville, and JTV has benefited as a company by collaborating on special projects.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles announced the company will locate its new corporate headquarters on Knoxville’s South Waterfront.
Regal, which operates the largest and most geographically diverse US theater circuit, expects to create 75 new jobs. “We want to congratulate and thank Regal Entertainment Group on their long-term commitment to Tennessee and the new jobs that will be created in Knoxville,” Haslam said. “Regal is a company that could do business anywhere in the country, and when a company like Regal chooses Tennessee over the rest of the country it sends the message that we can and will compete with anyone, and we are grateful that they will be here for years to come.”
The Regal Entertainment headquarters will occupy a nine-story, 178,000-sq.-ft. building at the east end of the former site of Baptist Hospital along Knoxville’s rapidly redeveloping South Waterfront. South Waterfront redevelopment efforts began in 2007 with a public planning process initiated by Gov. Haslam during his tenure as mayor of Knoxville.
In recent years, the city has invested in a new riverfront park, and the waterfront corridor has begun to attract new businesses and residential development.