Monday, April 28, 2008

Rodeo Drive - New Neighbors

WWD has reported today on my new neighbors on Rodeo Drive.

A quote from owner Haig Avakian refering to jewerly from VCA, Harry Winston and Tiffany.
"I think that L.A. as a market is quite underdeveloped," he said. "A lot of our clientele have already bought these classic pieces. They want something different."

The LA market underdeveloped? Is he high?

I think that Mr. Avakian is going to be dependent on tourist business from his Beverly Wilshire Hotel location. He's already been given a wonderful opportunity to donate a small item for an auction for a major Beverly Hills based charity and he couldn't donate or even be bothered to even meet with one of the board members. Mr Avakian's attitude may work in Switzerland but it isn't going to to bring in a loyal Beverly Hills clientele.

"Beverly Hills is a key location to purchase luxury goods in the United States; we wanted to find a West Coast home where women appreciate Italian luxury goods," said Giorgia Caovilla, company vice president and daughter of founder Rene Caovilla. "The celebrity scene in Los Angeles is second to none and it was a natural place to open our second U.S. store. L.A. style has come a long way and we want a customer who appreciates how to wear a shoe from day to night."
My prediction, Caovilla, which has a ten year lease for the space next to Jimmy Choo will outlast Avakian.
We'll see....
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the word said...

well actually, i think Avakian should be welcomed to Beverly Hills. if you go up and down Rodeo Drive, it is true that a lot of the pieces you see are quite classic and repetitive. we should welcome a brand with slightly more cutting edge jewelry.

secondly, Avakian has been established for over 40 years and has not closed any of its location since it opened in the different locations, so i doubt it will not last where it is.

and lastly, i think you shot yourself in the leg. it does not mean that a company does not participate in your gala the first year, whilst it is still organizing itself, that it will not participate in the following years. you might have just lost a possible future sponsor....

Belle de Ville said...

Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate the trouble you took to make a comment on my humble blog.

Look, I'm thrilled to have Avakian in the neighborhood. They have new and exciting jewelry. I LOVE their designs and am more than happy to refer clients who have an appreciation for their unique pieces to their store. And, I think the manager is charming guy and he can do a lot to make sure that the store does well.

Beverly Hills based businesses need their bread and butter clients, the local buyers. I admit that this time of year the Saudi Royalty descends on the town and causes a lot of buzz. They are all over Rodeo Drive and shopping up a storm. We have one client that is spending $30,000 a day on her security guards alone!

But I don't know any Rodeo Drive store that can do well on tourist business alone...even when those tourists are Saudi Royals!

My issue with Avakian was that I offered them a wonderful opportunity to showcase their product and do something valuable for the local community. The women who would have seen their jewelry at the gala are the same women who are on all the major philanthropic boards in this city. They are super shoppers and it was an outstanding promotional opportunity.

In addition, I brought into the store one of the doyennes of Beverly Hills, a HUGE jewelry collector, who everyone wants to have as a client. She's a lovely lady and super sophisticated about jewelry...and the Avakian staff couldn't give her the time of day.

So they were too busy getting established...Hey, I run three businesses...I'm busy is everyone in our organization. But, we treat all of our clients and all of our potential clients with utmost respect. Mr. Avakian himself was there that day and could have made the slightest effort to have come down the stairs and introduced himself.

Finally, 40 years in the business is impressive. My firm has been in business for almost 100 years and a big part of that is because how we treat our clients and how we participate in helping our community.

the word said...

well i myself have met Mr Avakian throughout numerous events in Europe, and i can tell you that he is a very generous and charming young man.

it is a brand that has done a lot of sponsors for numerous charities throughout Europe. It does not mean that he did not meet you that day, that you can allow yourself to make such comments.

perhaps he was doing something very important that day which could not have been disrupted. but judging someone without knowing him is not the right way to go about it.

do you expect to go to a Armani store in Milan, and meet the man himself at any time of the day?

i think you should give it a second chance and see what happens... from what i hear, he is not dependent on toursists only, but is actually building a local clientele as well. in fact i am in the banking business, but have come across numerous local clients who wear Avakian.


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