NWJ Fine Jewellery Deals, Specials & Catalogues

NWJ offers quality locally-made products and is South Africa’s only franchised jewellery store.

Natal Wholesale Jewellers (NWJ) is South Africa’s third-largest jewellery store by sales and number of outlets. As the name suggests, the company has its roots in KwaZulu-Natal, in the city of Durban. It’s there that businessman, Hylton Rabinowitz, opened his first jewellery shop called Hylton Jewellers in London House Arcade in July 1983. By the time Rabinowitz had opened his second store later on in the same year, the name had been changed to NWJ. in 1988, Rabinowitz bought a share in one of the oldest jewellery manufacturers – Durban Manufacturing Jewellers – that had been in operation since 1928. The purpose of the acquisition was to cut out the middleman so that NWJ could provide jewellery to their customers at wholesale prices, which made the company more competitive. In addition, it meant that by locally producing high-quality jewellery, the business would rely less on international suppliers. NWJ grew into a strong business with a loyal customer base, but in order to speed up its expansion, Rabinowitz created a franchise model that was a first for a South African jewellery chain. In 2008, the success of the business made it an attractive prospect for Taste Holdings, and it was acquired for R101-million. By this time, Rabinowitz owned 14 of the existing NWJ stores with the remaining 50 being franchised. Taste Holdings saw an opportunity to market the NWJ brand more effectively. Thirty-four years after the first store opened, NWJ has grown into 77 stores countrywide, employing a permanent staff of more than 170.

As a leading jewellery store, NWJ’s core market is the middle-market seeking quality pieces at an affordable price. Almost half of all the jewellery sold in the stores is produced in-house while 26% is imported and 29% is locally sourced. To serve the needs of different segments, NWJ has developed a number of its own brands including Sterling and Latan watches; the Tsar range of men’s jewellery; and Kimmi Kay charm bracelets, among others. The company’s key competitors in the market are American Swiss, Galaxy, and Sterns. In 2011, NWJ entered into a partnership with NetFlorist to create NetJewels, that made the jeweller’s products available in the NetFlorist online store. NWJ has been voted the best place to buy jewellery in the Daily News Readers’ Choice Survey every year since 2004.

NWJ’s SABS-approved Durban factory produces approximately 12,000 units per year, using state-of-the-art technology.

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