BEVERLY HILLS — Bulgari thought big with its expanded boutique on North Rodeo Drive, literally. The 10,000-square-foot store, which opened its doors last Monday, is now the Italian jeweler’s largest in the world.

The new boutique has been in the planning stages for two years, starting before the luxury sector experienced a dropoff. But Francesco Trapani, Bulgari’s chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview that he remains confident about the luxury sector — especially in the U.S. and Canada. Bulgari’s sales grew 20.7 percent to $41.1 million in 2002, even as the company’s worldwide sales rose only 0.9 percent to $837.7 million.

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