CRYSTAL CLEAR: Swarovski has opened a new Milan flagship on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the city’s major pedestrian shopping avenues. The company already operates two other units in Milan, along with a shop-in-shop at La Rinascente department store. The new 3,230-square-foot space spans three floors and is the first in Milan to carry the brand’s entire offering, including jewelry, watches and home décor. In addition, the flagship features Swarovski’s new “Crystal Forest” eco-friendly concept, which uses LED lighting and recycled materials.

“Here, we expect to ring up more than 60,000 receipts a year and to welcome yearly between 400,000 and 500,000 visitors,” said Swarovski Italy managing director Michele Molon. Italy and France are the two main markets for the company, “but Italy is the first in terms of profitability,” said Swarovski CGB chief executive officer Robert Buchbauer.

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Swarovski has 250 units in Italy, 30 of which are directly operated. These boutiques will be soon renovated with the new concept.

“We have 1,200 stores in Europe and 70 percent of them have been already revamped,” said Buchbauer, adding that the remaining 30 percent will be refurbished by the end of 2017.

Jewelry is the best-performing category for Swarovski in Europe, accounting for 85 percent of the company’s total business. “The watch division is also growing a lot,” said Buchbauer, noting that timepieces, which account for 6 percent of sales, are soon expected to reach double-digit market share.

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