The venerable luxury jeweler Bulgari lost some luster during the recent recession. With a major publicity blitz to mark its 125th anniversary and a ramp up in the Chinese market, Bulgari may well be on its way to restore its glitter.
Bulgari will bring its “Bulgari: 125 Years of Italian Magnificence” — a large jewelry exhibit that features 600 masterpieces including 16 from actress Elizabeth Taylor’s personal collection — to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai in early 2011. This major Bulgari retrospective, currently displayed at the Grand Palais in Paris, covers the company’s evolution and significant jewelry designs.
Bulgari has sales of $1.3 billion (RMB 8.9 billion) a year which is smaller than industry leader Cartier with $3 billion in sales and Tiffany with $2.7 billion. Cartier is China’s number one luxury jewelry brand.
Similar to other luxury brands looking to establish a presence in the coveted Chinese market, Bulgari has opened 20 boutiques in mainland China and 15 more in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Its China sales jumped 25 percent in the third quarter of this year.
Recently, Bulgari signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Hengdeli Holdings Limited to distribute Bulgari watches through multi-brand watch stores in mainland China. The five year agreement will increase the visibility of Bulgari watches in the Chinese market. Over 50 multi-brand stores that will open over the next five years will carry the brand in major Chinese cities.
photo credit: bulgari