British luxury jeweler Boodles is getting a boost in sales from Chinese customers who are wowed by its exquisite pieces and are buying top end pieces.
Despite not having stores abroad, the jeweler has been able to successfully attract China’s elite to its London shops, mainly through advertising in Chinese fashion magazines.
“They read the glossies and make a note to see us when they are next in London, which is once or twice a year for most wealthy people,” said chairman Nicholas Wainwright.
The real secret to wooing the Chinese appears to be Boodles’ significant investment in jewelry design. “The Chinese don’t want classical pieces,” he said. “They can buy them all over the world. They want something unique and British, set with really exciting stones. These aren’t run-of-the-mill pieces. They can’t be bought in any other country.”
With five London locations – Bond Street, Sloane Street, the Savoy Hotel, the Royal Exchange and Harrods – the Bond Street shop is the most important for the jeweler because overseas customers who visit the area’s designer stores will come into the shop.
Boodles had sales of £61 million (US$100.9 million), with two-thirds of sales coming from the domestic market. However, sales to overseas customers have grown rapidly to £18 million (US$29.8 million) from just £6 million (US$9.9 million) three years ago. Wainwright conservatively forecasts a 10 percent rise in sales to Chinese visitors next year, reports The Telegraph.
Overseas customers are the high-end buyers. “Overseas buyers purchase jewelery just because they like it and can afford it. We’re talking about pieces for £30,000 (US$49,620) or a lot more,” said Mr Wainwright.
See the top five Boodles jewels sold to Chinese tourists here.