Ultra Diamonds is a chain of jewelry stores across the United States that is in its third decade of operation. With approximately $140 million in annual revenue and about 1,500 employees, Ultra is the fifth largest jewelry store chain in the U.S. The firm was founded in 1991 by Daniel Marks in the small town of Gurnee, Illinois, with the philosophy of keeping margins low and making up for profits with large volumes of sales.
The economic recession that hit hard in the late naughts did not spare Ultra, and the firm went into bankruptcy. Luckily, within months, it was able to secure a new line of credit from Bank of America and convince creditors to accept part ownership of the chain in lieu of cash payment of its debts. As part of the deal, Ultra management reduced their interest to only 26%.
In November 2012, the diamond company was purchased by Signet Jewelers for the sum of $57 million in cash. As a result, the Ultra stores will have their names changed to Kay Jewelers Outlets.