For over a year, Bulgari has been withdrawing its jewellery collections from multi-brand retailers, similar to other major LVMH owned brands such as Louis Vuitton. Bulgari began to deploy this new strategy in spring 2018. In the last few years, the Roman label had started to sell its most prestigious jewellery collections uniquely through its own boutiques, but the more affordable lines, like for example B.zero1 and Bulgari Bulgari, had been still available at multi-brand jewellery retailers until recently.
A year and a half ago, Bulgari decided to stop distributing jewellery through the wholesale channel. The network will downsize from 600 to 300 multi-brand stores. In Asia, Bulgari watches and jewellery are already sold separately. Bulgari’s fragrances are also involved in this distributive make-over. The number of stores selling the label’s perfumes is set to diminish from 24,000 to 18,000.
Regarding the impact on sales of the reduction in the number of retailers, in October, at the presentation of the LVMH group’s quarterly results, Group CFO Jean-Jacques Guiony, stated that, in the watches and jewellery division, “Bulgari’s organic growth remains very strong, more or less at the same levels of the first and second quarter.”We had an impact of about, I’d say, 2% or maybe a little more from the cleaning up of the wholesale channel, an effort which is ongoing both for jewellery and fragrances. It isn’t over yet. We are keen on limiting the impact.”
Guiony added that the effort “is being spread over a very long period of time. It will therefore have some effect on Bulgari’s future growth. But, if we look at [Bulgari’s] mono-brand stores, their growth is very strong, with significant double-digit increases. We think we are on the right track, and we’ll continue in this direction.”
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