Bulgari widens luxe offerings

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Bulgari widens luxe offerings
Mr Jean-Christophe Babin, chief executive of Bulgari, was in town recently for the opening of Bulgari @ The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

The chief executive of Bulgari, Mr Jean-Christophe Babin, believes romance is alive and well.

And why not? He is banking on the sales of bridal jewellery at Bulgari to act as a hedge against the volatility of the high-end jewellery market.

"Bridal jewellery is an important business that we want to develop because it is very resilient. People will always need to get married, even when there is a financial crisis," says the 55-year-old Rome-based French-Italian.

"And 95 per cent of the people who get married will buy wedding rings because it corresponds with a very important emotional turning point in their life."

Mr Babin was in town a fortnight ago for the opening of the Italian luxury goods' new 477 sq m duplex store at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Its previous boutique, also at The Shoppes, was 360 sq m. The brand's other boutique is located at Takashimaya Department Store.

Mr Babin declined to reveal figures but says that the bridal business is "slowly growing year after year" and is an especially important category in the Asian and United States markets.

Besides expanding its selection of bridal jewellery designs - the brand currently has eight ranges of engagement rings and wedding bands - he intends to take its bespoke ring Design Your Love concept to various markets, including Singapore.

Launched about a year ago in Japan - Bulgari's second largest market after China - as a pilot project, the Design Your Love concept lets customers create their own unique engagement ring.

It has proven to be a hit with the Japanese so far. Prices of the customised rings are comparable with the off-the-shelf ones. The latter start from $4,250 for a 0.2 carat diamond ring.

"We have a big bridal business in Japan and a sizeable part of the business is from the Design Your Love arm," he shares.

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