The family-owned manufacturer of crystal and crystal-related products is on the acquisition trail, as it bids to topple Cartier and Tiffany & Co. to become the global leader in the fine jewelry segment.
“We are number one in the fashion jewelry segment definitely, but we want to strengthen our position further by reaching out a little bit beyond what we’re doing now, by extending our price positioning upwards by means of internally developing new concepts and brands to a certain extent, and making acquisitions that make sense,” Robert Buchbauer, a member of the Swarovski executive board, told WWD while outlining the company’s global strategy for the next seven years, dubbed “Vision 2020.”
Swarovski hopes to turn into a multibrand group by buying three or four jewelry brands.
“We have a very strict and limiting list of criteria that we want to apply to any kind of company to be acquired, some of which being the profitability, the growth rate, the minimum size, the brand recognition and awareness and the possibility to develop it on a large scale,” Buchbauer said.
The group signaled its grand ambitions at the last Baselworld watch and jewelry fair, where it unveiled a booth by award-winning designer Tokujin Yoshioka, who also created its flagship in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Spanning more than 21,500 square feet, the stand was surrounded by a 10-foot-high, curved wall adorned with 253,231 mirrored reflectors and 22,856 LED lights, giving the illusion of a crystal structure.
Swarovski logged revenues of about 1.7 billion euros, or $2.19 billion, from its consumer goods business in 2012, he said. Total turnover for the Swarovski Group, including business-to-business activities, stood at about 2.3 billion euros, or $2.96 billion, Buchbauer said.
Dollar rates are calculated at average exchange for the period to which they refer.
The executive acknowledged that while the Swarovski brand on its own may not succeed in toppling the current market leaders, the group as a whole hopes to become a serious challenger. “There’s still a lot of room for us to get there, but you have to put some ambitious goals in place,” he said.
Another pillar of development is organic growth. The company hopes to expand its network of monobrand points of sale, operated directly or by partners, to 3,000 by 2020 from 2,300 at present, mainly thanks to growth in emerging markets such as Brazil and Indonesia and expansion in North America.
Swarovski also plans to develop in-house brands and concepts by growing categories such as fashion accessories, small leather goods, electronics and stationery, in addition to its existing eyewear and fragrance licenses.
Watches, launched in 2009, should account for 15 percent of net sales in the consumer goods division by 2020, versus 5 percent to 7 percent at present.
“It’s important to keep a monobrand retail distribution concept interesting and relevant for the consumers by adding on new categories without losing focus, of course, of our core business, which is the jewelry,” Buchbauer said.
Within that category, which made up 75 percent of net sales last year, Swarovski is seeking to optimize its offer and maximize the reach to new consumers.
To that end, it has begun to test a new fine jewelry concept in China, where it has converted 20 to 25 percent of the overall surface of six stores into Swarovski Fine Jewelry corners featuring dedicated architecture and specially trained staff.
“We want to find out whether Swarovski as a brand is able to credibly carry a fine jewelry line. The first indications of our test in China are that this is the case,” Buchbauer explained.
The debut Love Paradise collection is made of 18-karat gold, diamond, sapphire, amethyst and topaz, with prices ranging from $600 to $2,000, he said.
“The test in China will run until the end of this year and then we will decide on a further rollout, depending on the detailed results,” he added. “One of the important things for us is to have a good part of that assortment distributed through our own stores, because that would definitely have a very positive effect on the overall productivity of our stores.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)