Svetlana Belova, Swarovski - On The "Bar Of Radiance", Mariah Carey And Strategy In Russia

Svetlana Belova, Swarovski - On The "Bar Of Radiance", Mariah Carey And Strategy In Russia
Svetlana Belova, Swarovski - On The "Bar Of Radiance", Mariah Carey And Strategy In Russia

Video: Svetlana Belova, Swarovski - On The "Bar Of Radiance", Mariah Carey And Strategy In Russia

Video: Svetlana Belova 2022, December

The Austrian brand has grown from a small crystal manufactory to a global manufacturer. The Swarovski product range includes crystal gift figurines, watches and jewelry, household items and professional optical equipment. 125 years later, the company is still run by the descendants of the firm's founder, Daniel Swarovski. With Svetlana Belova, Managing Director of Consumer Goods Business Swarovski in Russia, we talked not only about business plans, but also about New Year's gifts.

- Is Swarovski a jewelry brand?

- No, this is a premium and super quality crystal jewelry. Unlike jewelry brands that use precious metals, we work with rhodium and palladium (a group of platinum metals) coatings. However, some of Atelier Swarovski's luxury lines feature gold items with cultured diamonds. Prices for fine jewelry segment start at € 3,000 and are presented in a very limited number of markets. We do not plan to bring them to Russia yet. But we have more affordable Atelier Swarovski jewelry, including those created in collaboration with Penelope Cruz. Simple ear-studs can be purchased for 9-10 thousand rubles. And the luxury line is well represented in China.

- What are the features of the Russian market in terms of style and taste?

“In this respect, our customers are close to Europeans: most of them prefer white rhodium plating, similar to platinum, and a blue range of shades. On the one hand, preference is given to large, noticeable ornaments, and on the other, more modest ones, which can be worn in layers: thin bracelets, thin chains with pendants. (In contrast to us, the Chinese "pattern" is red and shades of yellow gold.) Earrings rank first in popularity, followed by bracelets, necklaces and pendants. The rings are on the bottom line. The explanation is simple: we do not offer wedding rings, and trendy rings are still created by traditional jewelry brands. On the global market, rings also take the last place in terms of purchases, but pendants are in first place, then earrings and then bracelets.

- What is the share of the Russian market?

- Its significance is great. It is customary to divide the global Swarovski market into clusters, and we enter the largest one called Emerging Markets. This group of markets ranks third after China and North America. Together with us, it includes Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Mexico, the Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina, India, Southeast Asia and Africa. Russia in this cluster has not yet shown the most significant sales volume, but we have room to grow and for the next four years we are planning the largest increase. Russia is a priority market for Swarovski.

- Does the distribution model in Russia differ from other markets?

- Of course, any business model depends on the specific realities of the market, on the current economic situation of the country, on the exchange rate. In Russia, the first Swarovski store opened on Novy Arbat 22 years ago. Then at the headquarters it was decided to develop partner retail, so all the newly opened stores belonged to partner companies. For a long time, our turnover was formed according to the sell in model, i.e. based on the selling price for partners who in turn sold it at suggested retail prices in Swarovski boutiques.

Since last year, we have been developing our own retail network - in this case, the turnover is calculated using the sell out model (the full cost of goods on the shelves). By the end of the year, we will have eleven stores of our own: ten in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg. At the same time, we keep the partner points of sale. In the regions, according to our strategy, we continue to work exclusively with partners. I can say that the new distribution channel helped us demonstrate a 22% increase this year. As for other markets, in China up to 90% of its own retail, in the UK up to 80%, but in the Middle East, the brand works only through partners. For us, a reasonable ratio, I consider 40% - our own retail and 60% - partner.

Crystal Studio Swarovski Concept Store
Crystal Studio Swarovski Concept Store

Crystal Studio Swarovski concept store ©

- Is it possible to buy Swarovski jewelry online in Russia?

- Of course. For a year now, we have been presented at the online retailer Lamoda, Swarovski is in the online store TSUM. But our own sales site will start working in Russia only in the second half of 2020. Today, the highest share of online sales - 22% - is shown by Great Britain, the world average is 6-7%, but every year the share of online purchases is growing.

- There are brands on the market that, like Swarovski, work with plating and crystals. What is the fundamental difference from Pandora, Tous and others?

- Firstly, we have been on the market since 1895, next year Swarovski will be 125 years old. And in this sense, none of the mentioned brands can argue with us, because only time can prove the importance, significance and vitality of a brand. Secondly, we ourselves produce our crystals, we ourselves develop dyeing and patina technologies, we draw up trends ourselves - and we implement all this in our products. Swarovski is a full-cycle global production, from idea to finished product. Thirdly, our portfolio is different, in which, in addition to jewelry, there are accessories, watches, writing instruments and the famous crystal figurines from which our story began. Finally, within the Jewelry segment, unlike our competitors, we offer different categories of goods: from small items for every day to large ceremonial items, from classics (crystals,pearls) to trendy items with spiders, butterflies and fruits. So the girl can completely assemble her image for every day and for the exit. Not everyone offers such a wide choice both in classics and in the segment of fashion trends.

Palace Earrings
Palace Earrings

1 of 9 Bracelet from the Remix collection © Bracelet from the Remix collection © Naughty or Nice Earrings © Press Office Naughty or Nice Long Earrings © Press Office Naughty or Nice Earrings © Press Office Necklace and earrings Naughty or Nice © press service Necklace and earrings Naughty or Nice © press service Earrings Palace © press service

- Tell us about the latest know-how.

- Among our innovations Crystaldust - bracelets and necklaces with a flexible mesh base, inside which crystals are placed. The secret design prevents them from getting enough sleep and scratching the skin. We lasted a year and a half with this collection, and then there were huge quantities of fakes. I also note Remix with magnetic locks. This collection fits perfectly into today's main trend - personification, the ability to create your own products. Individual bracelets can be combined into a choker or sautoir, or worn on the wrist in several turns.

- What charitable initiatives does the company support?

- Swarovski Water School is a wonderful initiative that helps those in need get access to clean drinking water and teaches how to preserve and increase its supply on the planet. Water is the main ingredient for Swarovski crystals, besides it uses special white sand from Germany and some secret ingredients. At the factory in Wattens, where the crystals are "brewed", water is treated very carefully: it has state-of-the-art purification systems. In Russia, the Swarovski company annually supports the children's hospice House with a Mayak.

- Tell us about your plans for the anniversary year.

- Swarovski celebrates a beautiful round date next year. In 2020, we plan to open five more of our own stores in Moscow, as well as launch a new concept, Crystal Studio Swarovski. This is a dynamic creative space that allows you to immerse yourself in the sparkling world of Swarovski, try on any piece and create your own unique look from different jewelry. In the center of this studio is the "Shine Bar" - a place where you can experiment with the sparkle of crystals by changing the lighting settings. The service of personalization of products purchased as a gift is also provided. The first Crystal Studio Swarovski space has opened in Milan. Next in line are Paris, Shanghai, Beijing and Moscow.

Photo: press service
Photo: press service

1 of 8 Pendant created with Mariah Carey © press service Pendant created with Daniel Libeskind © press service Christmas tree decorations from crystals © press service © press service © press service © press service © press service © press -service

- What has Swarovski prepared for this Christmas and New Year?

- For many years now, Swarovski crystals have been decorating the main trees in different cities of the world - Milan, Zurich and, of course, New York, where the Christmas tree stands opposite the Rockefeller Center. This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the popular song "All I Want For Christmas Is You" with Mariah Carey herself: the singer came up with a star-shaped pendant on a red ribbon. Another model was created by Swarovski in collaboration with renowned architect Daniel Libeskind: radiant stars are engraved inside the transparent crystal. In addition, the Christmas collection includes crystal figurines of Santa Claus and mice, including a piece of cheese, decorative red crystal stars with red magma effect, sparkling wine glasses and, of course, cubic zirconia decorations.>

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