Swarovski Acquires U.S. Charm Bead Brand Chamilia

ChamiliaMinneapolis—Chamilia, the privately held, U.S.-based maker and marketer of popular personalized bead and charm jewelry, was acquired last week by Swarovski for an undisclosed sum.

Chamilia will continue to operate as an independent business within the Swarovski Group and Douglas Brown, chief executive, is expected to remain in his role which he assumed in January after his 17-year tenure at Swarovski.

“Swarovski had seen great opportunity in 2011 to step into the personalized accessory and fine jewelry arena when it acquired a minority interest in Chamilia,” said Brown. “As a strategic investor, completing a 100% acquisition of the company was what Swarovski would have originally intended.”

Not that Swarovski’s acquisition should come as any surprise. Besides previously taking a stake in Chamilia’s business—fast-growing collectible charm jewelry—the Austrian based crystal giant had supplied its Swarovski Elements-brand crystals to Chamilia, giving the jewelry brand an exclusive in the highly competitive collectible bead jewelry business.

Swarovski Plans Additional Acquisitions

Nor should the news of this acquisition—and others—be any surprise to attendees to the recent BaselWorld watch and jewelry fair in Switzerland. There Robert Buchbauer, chief executive of Swarovski’s consumer goods division, had outlined the company’s plans to double its business to some 5 billion euros by 2020.

To achieve that goal, Swarovski plans a three-pronged approach to growth: an increase in organic growth of its existing brands, the development of new internal brands, and, lastly, strategic acquisitions.

The criteria for buying other brands would be if they would finish off Swarovski’s growing portfolio and have a quality reputation with a major hold on the marketplace, Buchbauer said.

“Swarovski is developing from a single brand to a multiple brand business,” said Buchbauer.

Swarovski Group’s 2012 volume totaled 3 billion euros with 70% of sales from its consumer goods division, which includes jewelry, watches and figurines, 22% from Swarovski Elements and 8% from Swarovski Gems and other areas.

Swarovski also plans to expand its multichannel approach to its 2,300 stores internationally with e-commerce. The company, which owns and operates about 1,300 of the stores, claims to be No. 1 in the global fashion jewelry business and No. 3 in global branded jewelry sales.

 

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Jeff Prine

Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com