Ross-Simons Founder Dies

Sidney T. Ross, the founder of $188.0 million Cranston, RI-based jewelry, gifts and tabletop marketer Ross-Simons, passed away on Sept. 21 at the age of 88. Ross, whose son Darrell is the cataloger/retailer’s president, started the company with wife Lillian and partner Phil Simons as a 1,000-sq.-ft. jewelry store in downtown Providence, RI, in 1952. The first catalog, a 40-page book, mailed in 1981 to 100,000 prospects. Today the company mails more than 50 million catalogs, operates 14 stores in nine states, and has a Web business that accounts for about 30% of its business.