Jewelers Court the Superrich, and It Seems to Pay Off – Trending News

PARIS — After a yr of outstanding progress at Chanel, the firm’s world chief monetary officer, Philippe Blondiaux, mentioned in a current interview with a information website, the Business of Fashion, that Chanel would open an unspecified variety of unique V.I.P. shops in Asia subsequent yr to complement its current world community of 250 boutiques.

Some have questioned, in a yr of value will increase and shopping for quotas on equipment, how the model would perform this plan, how a lot one must spend to qualify as a V.I.P., and even who can be wealthy sufficient to buy at Chanel.

“What does that mean in terms of quality, availability, customer service if they have boutiques only available for super-special, elite, V.I.P. clients?” the London-based influencer Romina Rose May requested in a current YouTube submit.

Still, the information is a positive signal of the luxurious business’s swift restoration after pandemic lockdowns which, regardless of lingering provide-chain challenges and financial woes compounded by the struggle in Ukraine, has prompted some manufacturers to make a strategic shift towards ultrahigh spenders.

Analysts at the world consulting agency Bain & Company mentioned the luxurious business had come roaring again the first quarter of this yr, with gross sales in the private luxurious items market forecast to achieve a minimum of 305 billion euros, about $322 billion, by the finish of 2022, up from €283 billion in 2021 and from €281 billion in 2019.

Luxury gross sales are pushed by excessive spenders, and wealth is concentrated amongst greater than 2,660 world billionaires, collectively price $12.7 trillion, in line with Forbes, with the United States being residence to the most billionaires and China coming in second.

At Chanel, income in 2021 jumped 50 % yr-on-yr to achieve $15 billion, a 23 % enhance from 2019 ranges. Its watches and jewellery division posted double-digit progress in 2021, which occurred to be the a hundredth anniversary of Chanel’s No. 5 fragrance. As a tribute, the firm designed a excessive jewellery assortment that includes a necklace set with a D-flawless diamond, reduce right into a single 55.55-carat stone in the form and proportions of the fragrance bottle’s stopper.

“We are very happy and satisfied with our growth, business is extremely good,” Frédéric Grangié, Chanel’s president of watches and wonderful jewellery, wrote in an electronic mail. High jewellery, he mentioned, “is extremely dynamic, fine jewelry is on the rise, and watchmaking and haute horlogerie are also experiencing strong growth. I am confident in the post-pandemic recovery.”

Just this spring, Chanel reopened its watch and jewellery flagship on the Place Vendôme in Paris, reworked into a up to date showcase with the really feel of a chic, artwork-crammed residence. Clients will discover inside the full vary of Chanel’s jewellery and watches, however solely a fortunate few can be invited downstairs to what Mr. Grangié mentioned was a “secret space dedicated to patrimony” the place uncommon archives and singular objects linked to Chanel’s historical past are preserved.

“This is a unique tool to offer to some of our specific clients,” Mr. Grangié wrote.

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He declined to touch upon the devoted V.I.P. shops in Asia or additional plans for the remedy of high shoppers.

Meanwhile, analysts undertaking that Chinese customers can be the dominant power in world luxurious by 2025 regardless of restrictions imposed by their authorities’s pandemic coverage. “China is on a path to overcome the Americas and Europe to become the biggest luxury market globally,” analysts at Bain mentioned.

Ketty Pucci-Sisti Maisonrouge, adjunct professor of luxurious technique at Columbia Business School in New York, mentioned that “since the pandemic, the Chinese government has encouraged its citizens to stay home and not travel abroad.”

“The number of passports issued or renewed in China is down 90 percent, part of a political decision to encourage local consumption,” Ms. Maisonrouge mentioned in a phone interview. “It makes sense for luxury brands to be in Asia.”

Chanel just isn’t the solely firm searching for to lure patrons with the deepest pockets.

For the presentation of its latest excessive jewellery assortment, Dior hosted its V.I.P. shoppers final month in Sicily, at a resort owned by its father or mother firm, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The jewellery was offered over per week, paired with robes created for the occasion by Dior’s couture division.

LVMH’s watch and jewellery division, which incorporates Bulgari, introduced in €8.96 billion in 2021, up 167 % in contrast with 2020 and up 7 % in contrast with 2019 (partly defined by LVMH finishing its acquisition of Tiffany & Company in 2021).

Boucheron presents what it calls V.I.C.s (“Very Important Clients”) with a keep in the luxurious penthouse of its boutique overlooking the Place Vendôme, with full-time concierge service supplied by the Ritz resort. Stays in the Boucheron penthouse are restricted to 5 nights per yr since its reopening after the top of the pandemic, “to keep the experience super exclusive,” mentioned Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, chief govt of Boucheron. Clients are additionally supplied a chance to view jewellery collections with Boucheron’s artistic director, Claire Choisne.

“The apartment is a ‘money can’t buy’ experience,” Ms. Poulit-Duquesne mentioned. “It is not about money, as the stay has no price, but all about arousing emotion, and experiencing something that will live forever in your memory.”

Cartier courts its ultrarich shoppers with particular occasions usually tied to its cultural packages.

It can be a sponsor as soon as once more for the Venice International Film Festival in September and plans to ask V.I.P. shoppers to stroll the crimson carpet, attend screenings with the stars; and see performances at the Teatro Verde, an open-air amphitheater set in gardens on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. (The theater’s current restoration was financed partly by Cartier.)

In November, V.I.P. shoppers at the opening of Cartier’s Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai have been handled to a program of girls-targeted talks and creative performances, together with a recital by the Georgian-born pianist Khatia Buniatishvili on a grand piano arrange below the stars in the dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

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“High jewelry clients do not fit into a single category,” Cyrille Vigneron, president and chief govt of Cartier, mentioned in an interview in Paris. “We create events we know our clients will like but don’t always expect.”

Sales at the Richemont group, which owns Cartier, surpassed €19 billion in 2021, a 46 % enhance over the earlier yr. While the group doesn’t disclose income by particular person model, its three jewellery homes — Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Buccellati — introduced in a mixed €11 billion in gross sales, a lot of which got here from Cartier. In a information launch in May, Richemont’s chairman, Johann Rupert, lauded the jewellery homes’ “client-centric initiatives” ensuing “in direct-to-client sales” and an “improved insight into client profiles.”

Companies say that realizing extra about their huge-spending shoppers may be essential.

“We have many new sources of data like media partners, digital platforms, social media and our own stores for information about our clients,” Mr. Vigneron mentioned. “We know what they want, and we can funnel brand messages in a different way.”

“This an ‘offer-driven’ market,” he mentioned. “We have a distinctive style and we make beautiful things that people don’t expect. Sometimes, we don’t know how the market will react. But we try to bring value to clients.”

While luxurious enterprise could also be booming, managing the high-greenback shopper’s in-retailer procuring expertise stays difficult.

“Even where money is no problem, how do you deliver an exceptional store experience, or the kind of product that V.I.C.s want in a fairly reasonable time frame?” Ms. Maisonrouge mentioned.

“Training and retaining sales associates is another challenge,” she mentioned. “With the ‘Great Resignation,’ nobody wants to work in a store.”

So a lot of brand name notion is linked to the in-retailer procuring expertise.

“Clients walk into our boutiques with different expectations,” Antoine Pin, head of watches at Bulgari, mentioned in an interview in Paris. “It is difficult to separate high jewelry from handbags when the store is not big enough.”

“Still, the experience of luxury has to be inclusive and wonderful,” Mr. Pin mentioned.

“We encourage people to come in and try things on, even if they can’t afford some of the pieces,” Mr. Pin mentioned. “By sharing a ‘wow’ moment, we create a love story with the brand.”

 

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