Sunday, July 22, 2012

De Beers to expand in India

CHENNAI, July 22, 2012

Diamond major De Beers, through its brand Forevermark, is looking at India to contribute around 10 per cent of its global sales in five years and aims to expand in the country by increasing its number of retailers.

Forevermark recently held a trade forum, where retailers and its diamantaires came together to discuss marketing strategies and a road map for the coming years.

"While presently we have over 60 doors in India, we are looking at taking that to 100 by the end of the year, hopefully by the festive season. We are in nine cities right now and looking at expanding into Kochi and Coimbatore as well. In fact, our South Indian market has been one of our best performing markets in India," said Sachin Jain, Managing Director, Forevermark Diamonds Private Ltd.

"The economic situation actually doesn't affect consumer demand too much, as more people look for the inherent quality that is present in diamonds, they buy it looking at long-term value. The shift in demand from gold to diamonds, along with a strong dollar, has resulted in an increase in diamond prices," he said.

At present, China and Hong Kong account for over half of its sales globally. This is followed by the markets of India, the U.S. and Japan. According to Stephen Lussier, CEO, Forevermark, the diamond business in India is growing at 20 per cent year-on-year and the company expects to have $1 billion in global sales in the next five years.

De Beers also expects diamond production at its mines to fall slightly short of last year's production. "Production has been reduced because there is less demand from clients, partly due to strong rise in prices. So far, production is 14 million carats. We expect to end the calendar year at 28-30 million," said Mr. Lussier

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