Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bling Biz News

A couple of interesting things are happening in the Bling Biz.

From Women's Wear Daily:
— Top-tier jewelry companies aren't flinching in the face of the U.S. economic slowdown — and are proceeding full-speed ahead with their store expansion programs.

So even in this economy Graff, Chanel, Bulgari, Van Cleef and other high end jewelers are expanding. Recession or not, the expectation is that highest end luxe client will continue to shop.

But on the lower end, things sales aren't so sparkling.
From Idex:
Online super jeweler, Blue Nile reported that US sales were down 1% in Q1, compared to a 34% gain in Q1 of 20078. Demand for diamonds in the low end of $5,000 and below remains strong but in the $100,000 plus level demand is weak. Has the high end customer stopped shopping or just opted for the retail store schmooze rather than online efficiency?

While the company reported that first quarter revenues were $70.5 million, up 3.8 percent from the prior year, all of the increase came from sales in international markets, including Canada, the U.K., Western Europe, and to a lesser extent, market tests in Eastern Europe and Asia. Sales in non-U.S. markets were $5.7 million, up 124 percent from last year’s $2.5 million in the first quarter.

I think that the trend for international sales will stay strong due to the weak dollar.
Then again...some super smart people I know are starting to short oil and euros...maybe we're in for a stronger dollar soon.

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