MILAN- The new strategic direction at Swarovksi is showing positive effects.
The family-owned Swarovski Crystal Business on Friday reported a 10 percent increase in sales to 1.83 billion euros in 2022 compared with the previous year.
“These encouraging results confirm that our strategic direction is right, and our iconic brand and product have extraordinary potential,” said Alexis Nasard, who was named chief executive officer last July. “We are off to an encouraging start across all markets including China and our focus in 2023 will be the disciplined execution of our new LUXignite strategy and business plan, with emphasis on product innovation and further investments in our retail network and key brand moments,” he added.
The LUXignite strategy includes the new created diamonds collection and curated shopping experiences.
Nasard is the first CEO to come from outside the Swarovski family in the brand’s 128-year history, marking the latest step in the transition from a family-managed to a family-owned company. He took the helm at Swarovski after 17 years at Procter & Gamble, six years at Heineken and five years as CEO of Bata, followed by Kantar.
In 2022 the company registered its strongest growth in seven years, driven by a 15 percent increase in the jewelry category. Retail sales rose 13 percent and B2B crystals were up 5 percent.
Online sales were up 5 percent and represented 20 percent of the retail business.
The company touted the progress in the business model transformation including product creation, organization simplification and brand development.
The new jewelry collections, the retail concepts WonderLux and WonderColor, and brand campaigns with Bella Hadid, conceived by creative director Giovanna Engelbert, contributed to elevating Swarovski’s positioning.
In October, Nasard told WWD he was keen to further develop and expand two relevant initiatives for the company: the Creators Lab project, launched in 2021, and the Swarovski Created Diamonds.
The executive reignited the former through a collaboration with Aquazzura, which bowed in September, as reported, the first of a series of drops. Swarovski also inked a new collaboration with BMW for the new Series 7 and with Golden Goose. Swarovski’s platform dedicated to creating cutting-edge designs and collectible items in collaboration with international brands already counts a long roster of partnerships. Previous tie-ups resulted in special Amina Muaddi sandals, Judith Leiber handbags, Nike Women’s Air Force 1 LXX sneakers, a FAO Schwarz nutcracker statuette and a crystallized basketball developed with streetwear brand Market. In October, Swarovski Creators Lab also embarked on its first ready-to-wear collaboration with Advisory Board Crystals.
In parallel, following a successful pilot in key locations across the U.S., the company is rolling out its Swarovski Created Diamonds jewelry collection in 200 stores in that market and Canada over the next year, and on its online platform beginning last November.
The Austrian crystal house has been offering lab-grown diamonds since 2016 as part of its business-to-business portfolio and Nasard sees the development into fine jewelry as a natural evolution for the brand.
At the end of last year, Swarovksi also signed a 10-year licensing agreement with EssilorLuxottica for eyewear, which replaced a previous license with Marcolin.
The refurbishing of the 2,400 Swarovski-branded store network progressed with a location upgrade, in line with the brand repositioning, and like-for-like sales grew 10 percent.
An expansive flagship opened in New York on Fifth Avenue in November, following a new unit in Shanghai earlier last year.
The Swarovski Crystal Business has a global reach with about 4,400 multibrand stores in more than 150 countries and a total of 18,000 employees worldwide. Together with its sister companies Swarovski Optik (optical devices) and Tyrolit (abrasives), Swarovski Crystal Business forms the Swarovski Group.