Italian jewellery major Bvlgari eyes Indian market

Tuesday, 23 March 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Italian jewellery and accessory brand Bvlgari intends to tap the Indian premium goods market with the opening of its first flagship store in the subcontinent at Delhi's Oberoi Hotel.

"India is a fast growing consumer market for luxury goods and we are confident of the potential for Bvlgari's growth here," said Chief Executive of the Bulgari Group Francesco Trapani in a press release.

The Bulgari Group, which produces the Bvlgari brand, has acquired two shops in the glitzy lobby of the hotel, already glittering with names like Luis Vuitton and Hugo Boss.

With a burgeoning upper- and middle-class population, whose expendable income is on the rise, the company believes that the Indian consumer market pie is expanding like never before. Bulgari is confident of finding enough customers here for its 15,000 scarves, 7,500 ties and bags priced between 30,000 and 70,000.

Rich textures of wood and marble create a warm feeling of super-elite luxury and pear and maple wood panels add to the sense of distinction to the store, and that is what the more than 100-year-old brand wants to create for itself.

The brand, sported by the likes of Nicole Kidman and U2's Bono is bringing its entire palette of high-class jewellery, exclusive watch lines, perfumes and even accessories like silverware and eyewear.

The watch segment in India has boomed in recent months with the presence of names like Patek Philippe and Franck Mueller, where Bvlgari is sure to cash in on too.

"The watch business certainly looks big in India with lots of premium players and there seems to be a vibrant demand for such high quality products. But we are not only restricted to watches," said Asha Langdown, public relations director (south Pacific) for Bvlgari, at the opening on Monday.

That the company is looking intensely at Asia is revealed by the fact that it has more stores in Asia than in the US, with the recent addition of a store in Vietnam.

Now with a store in India, the company is seeking to become a major player in the luxury goods market. The New Delhi store "strengthens Bvlgari's position in Asia and reinforces its presence in key markets of this region," added Langdown.

The opening in Delhi comes after two Bvlgari shops were unveiled in Beijing and Shanghai late last year.

Founded in Rome in 1884 by silversmith Sotirio Bulgari, the company is still controlled by his heirs, who holds 55 percent share, with the rest floated on the Milan Stock Exchange. The consolidated revenues of the group in 2003 were 759 million Euros.

This is the brand for which Andy Warhol once said: "For me calling at Bvlgari's shop is like visiting the best exhibition of contemporary art." That's perhaps why company chairman Paolo Bulgari has been quoted as saying: "People can't live without aesthetics."

Source: IANS
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