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Moscow State Department Store turns 'Jewellery Conscious' prior New Year

23 december 2014

Is every jewellery present of value? Today it is, especially if bought in Russia. The other thing is that the jewellery present could be purchased for RUB5,000 as an high-turnover item made in Russia or for RUB2 mln as a famous global brand jewellery.

Customers do not consider every shopping centre to be a prestigious one for buying presents there. In the shopping centre itself, the stores are further subdivided into prestigious, popular and not very popular ones. In the store showcases, the breakdown is the same – into very prestigious and not very prestigious ones. Moreover, the prestigious presents are classified into specialties and the classical goods becoming out-of-fashion. This is the opinion of Moscow women of fashion. 

It took little time to go through the main shopping centre in the capital's downtown – the Moscow State Department Store, where exclusive flagship boutiques of global luxury manufacturers are located in the open space marketplace. The most renowned leaders are in Line 1, where every boutique has its emphatic style and its interior signatures. There is movement and buyers’ activity inside the boutiques. Maybe, this is their willingness to buy jewellery fuelled by the upcoming New Year, or maybe, it is their intent to invest in jewellery.  

The only aim the global brands had when they opened their boutiques in the most popular places of Russia was to enter the Russian market, take a position on the popular platform and, certainly, get their profit. Nowadays, as some years have gone on, it is clear that the initiative of the luxury segment leaders has turned out to be successful. Of course, nobody disclose the quantity of the luxury goods sold but polling the store attendants and the luxury buyers shows that the Russian buyers have some certain preferences and favourite jewellery brands.

The poll found that in the high-end segment, the jewellery items from RUB200,000 to RUB400,000 are in demand. This is a sum the affluent Russian customer spends for one purchase in a brand boutique visiting it 2-3 times a year.

Not everyone is in favour of investing money into jewellery. There are people who prefer to make their investments into real estate. There are people spending their money to buy cars or renovate their houses. However, there are also those who enjoy buying jewellery pieces that give them an opportunity to feel self-esteem.

There is no telling that women are more interested in jewellery. I noticed that men visit jewellery stores more often. They usually buy one piece at a time, but sometimes they purchase several jewellery pieces, and one man bought eight jewellery items in boxes thwarted with a Chaumet band.

When I asked several buyers how long it took them to buy a high-end jewellery item I received three common answers. Ladies or young couples need from 40 minutes to one hour as they thoroughly examine the jewellery and the diamond studs. It takes business people from fifteen to thirty minutes (mostly men) who know what they came for, as the choice of the jewellery piece had been already made or a piece was ordered in advance. The third category - ladies aged from 25 to 45 – spend from two weeks to a month as this time is enough to get prepared for a purchase, talk her husband into buying it and solve the issue of financing.

“Everyone knows why he or she goes to Cartier,” says a store attendant of this world known brand. “Сonnoisseur of the Cartier brand cannot help buying something new. They are always interested in stopping in our store and have a quick look at the show-cases and finally, find something they would certainly carry in their hands leaving our store today.”   

The classical items, classical wedding jewellery is behind the Cartier brand. “About 70 percent of our customers are devoted to classical jewellery and appreciate the philosophy of our designers. However, there are also the remaining 30 percent who are fond of new ideas and trends. Thy call us and order these latest specialties,” says the Cartier store attendant. 

“A wide choice of jewellery pieces displayed today in our store allow to supply any jewellery a customer wants, the price starts from RUB30,000 – today it is difficult to convert it into US dollars, it is about US$ 800-900 as per the old exchange rate, and US$500-600 only as per the current one. So, the Russian stores offer extremely attractive terms and conditions for the purchase of jewellery,” said the Cartier store attendant in conclusion. 

Cartier is among those jewellery manufacturers that did not upset their customers by revising their prices because of growing prices for gems and gold.

Of late, many sellers noticed that foreign customers started to come to Moscow to buy the world brands jewellery. Many manufacturers told about possible small increase in prices by 10-15 percent in December. However, right now the prices are very attractive. 

Jewellery brands’ new philosophy is not to create many new collections but to continue adding new pieces to the existing ones, thus encouraging the lady-customers to “have a full collection”. This marketing pitch has been successfully working for a long time. It is naïve and funny like with the chocolate Kinder Surprise or Hot Weels cars. A collector is always obsessive about it, he never stops. It is always interesting to amass a collection.

“Very often, it happens so that the purchase of a jewellery piece depends upon the mood, state of a soul at the moment you stop in our jewellery showroom,” says the manager of the Dior showroom. “In Russia there are connoisseurs of the Dior jewellery, for whom the designer’s artistic concept is important. Sometimes we order exclusive Dior jewellery pieces to be specially custom-made in one copy only. Such orders normally require from two to four months to be completed, but there are sophisticated orders that require up to one year and a half to be fulfilled. Moreover, the Dior Company offers the most beneficial payment terms to their customers. On the date of order, the customer pays a 50-percent advance payment and we – in our turn, fix the price and are under obligation to our customer until the purchase is made. These are very beneficial terms and conditions.”  
At present, glossy magazines play a very important role on the jewellery market. They dictate the fashion, create the wish, desire and envy.

«There often come calls from our customers who are interested in jewellery pieces published at a certain page of a certain magazine. Of course, it helps us and it is pleasant to feel being in demand,” comments a Dior brand store attendant.

“Now, two price ranges are very popular among our buyers, that is a purchase of a ring in a RUB250,000 to 300,000 range and a purchase of some other jewellery for RUB400,000 to 500,000,” explains the store attendant. "Also, the jewellery is classified into 2 types – one is casual for everyday wear, and the other are fine jewellery pieces of art for evening events. These became very popular among affluent Russian customers.”

Many women dream of getting a fancy engagement ring. The manufacturers promptly saw that soft sport for such jewellery and launched several collections that could serve as ‘a fancy engagement ring’.

Nowadays, almost all the world’s luxury jewellery brands are represented in Russia and their number is growing every month.

Veronicа Novoselovа, Rough&Polished