Canadian prestige jeweler Maison Birks has chosen China, where diamonds are in high demand in the growing economy, to launch its first retail store outside North America.
Slated to open in early 2014, the store will be located at the new Xanadu Plaza in Beijing. The jeweler has plans for further expansion in China.
Unlike competitors Tiffany and Cartier who have long carved out their place in the Chinese market, relative latecomer Maison Birks is banking on its Canadian pedigree, transparency, and unique history – including the designation of Royal Warrant by the British Royal Family in the 1930’s – to win over Chinese consumers.
Maison Birks’ Canadian diamonds are offered with a guarantee of origin that can be traced back to the mine of origin, offering customers the assurance of ethically-sourced stones. The jeweler thinks this will provide the company an edge as Chinese customers are increasingly looking for quality and pedigree in the jewelry and precious stones they purchase.
Jewelery collections offered in the store will include Birks’ latest designs, all inspired by Canadian nature, from the Birks Butterfly Collection to the Birks Muse Collection and the Birks Pebble Collection.
“Our presence in China highlights our authority as a world-class prestige jewelery brand, and offers a link to our recent efforts in rebranding and further developing the Birks brand,” said Jean-Christophe Bédos, president and CEO of Birks Group Inc.
The company embarked on a major rebranding in preparation for its China launch. The Birks’ image makeover included “tweaking its name to Maison Birks to give it the cache of other elegant retailers like Chanel and Dior, which also use Maison in their names (literally meaning “the house of”),” reports The Star. Along with the name change is a new logo, which is “a diamond shape to signify the jeweler’s expertise in that business along with the Maison Birks name and the year the company was founded, 1879, inside.”
“The luxury jewelry market is getting more competitive, and we want to trade on Canada’s good image: kindness, hospitality, safety,” says Bédos.
image credit: maison birks