Bulgari plans to add stores in China, saying jewelry sales there could potentially double over the next five years as it dodges a broader slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.
“Year after year a huge upper middle class is getting out of universities, reaching the job market, and getting discretionary money,” Bulgari’s Chief Executive Officer Jean-Christophe Babin told Bloomberg Television in an interview.
Owned by the LVMH group, Bulgari is joining other luxury goods makers in expanding its footprint in mainland China to tap the world’s biggest consumer pool. Deterred by a weak yuan, protests in Hong Kong and geopolitical tensions with the U.S., Chinese shoppers are shifting their luxury spending back home instead of buying overseas.
“There are 5-10 cities where we are not yet present, and where in the next five years it will make a lot of sense to have the brand standing so that Chinese can physically experience wearing a Bulgari necklace,” said Babin, adding that this will help the brand build closer connections with its consumers.
Cities such as Wuhan, Chongqing, and Shenzhen are being considered for opening additional stores by the jeweler which also sells premium watches, perfumes and bags.
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