Not luxury. Business.

AversusfightA decade ago a journalist asked Giorgio Armani if « Paris was still the fashion capital ». He replied that « for sure » it was. So « what about Milan » then ask the proud french lady, GA said : the capital of business.

I am always amazed by two mega brands when I see their financial results. Swarovski has been able to transform a family business in a global brand, coming from crystal figurine a bit kitsh and other activities developped through its history. Now it is a 3.37 billion group with 26 000 employees and more or less 2 600 boutiques.

Pandora is a bit the same. Who was betting on the Troll Beads me too product 10 years ago? Now it is a 20.3 DKK billion business with 39% ebitda (!) and still growing. (with 10 millions fans on FB)

I don’t know you but I never met in my close personal or professional life people wearing Pandora. May be people are wearing Swarovski and apart slake collection and due to no distinctive DNA I cannot identify the products. Far away from luxury codes. The promise is to sell crystal but it is only glass (without lead so not crystal, but it is better for your health).

Where these two brands are very good is with customers…Perfect retail codes, high trafic areas, right positioned prices, repetitive buying. They are HM and Zara of jewelry.

When you look at the complaints of customers of the second biggest jeweller in the world, it is all about quality and retail codes. May be sometime me and other should go to popular malls and supermarkets galleries. To learn what business is about. (The real world with real people and demand).

What is called here affordable luxury is very interesting. For the « Swan » no much history, no codes. No need to know values of the brand, of best sellers and iconic product, purchase and shopping are simple, not very intellectual and that is really clever. (love, beauty, style, trends  are the motto)

P Product (beads) could have been copied but growth is still there (bonus paid to leader) , as all is about execution, focus on customers base, being on the journey of the consumer, pricing.  Tons of lessons to take for the real « luxury industry ».

Sans faire (trop) de bruit, deux mastodontes de la joaillerie accessible, du bijou mode, réalisent à eux deux 5 milliards d’euros de chiffre d’affaires. Sorte de marque sans icones (au sens du luxe), meet too product mais parfaites en exécution, création, retail codes. Une grande leçon pour les maisons de luxe. Non ici pas de luxe, juste du business.

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