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Swarovski set to stop crystal supply to many B2B accounts as part of new strategy

Global crystal and jewellery business Swarovski is to stop supplying its loose crystals and gemstones to other jewellery brands and third-party re-sellers as part of a business “transformation programme”.

he business, which also retails and wholesales finished crystal jewellery, has a long history of supplying its crystals to other brands in jewellery and fashion as well as third party re-sellers, so that they can be used in jewellery and apparel made and manufactured by others.

Retail Jeweller understands that this part of the business, sometimes referred to as Swarovski Professional, will undergo significant changes and, from June 2021, will close a large number of customer accounts as it looks to focus on the luxury market in the apparel and accessories sector.

Brands and suppliers contacted by Retail Jeweller confirmed that they have been given notice of the changes, which will come into effect from the middle of next year.

One third-party re-seller told Retail Jeweller that the impact of this decision will be “significant” for their business and that they are “very disappointed” with the decision.

Another representative from a jewellery brand added that this move “puts an end” to their dealings with Swarovski, while another said this was “damaging” to their business.

The decision is understood to be a global one, with businesses across Europe and internationally also impacted.

When contacted by Retail Jeweller, Swarovski issued the following statement: “Like many companies operating in the rapidly evolving global retail and manufacturing environment, we have recently embarked on an extensive transformation programme.

“We are moving to one vision, one strategy and one organisational structure to support business growth in the long-term.

“This revised structure will lead to less complexity in the business, an emphasis on the new brand positioning, and some new modes of working to support sustainable growth.

“Unfortunately, this has required difficult decisions to be made. We will be working with a number of B2B affiliates but in much closer partnership for the continuing benefit of our business and brand.”

Swarovski, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, appointed Robert Buchbauer, the great-great-grandson of the company’s founder, as its new chief executive in April this year.

In an article written by Bloomberg in August, Buchbauer was quoted as saying: “It’s very painful for everybody, but we have to take the steps that we should have taken years ago.

“Swarovski crystals on a 10-euro T-shirt don’t add to our profitability and hurt our brand image.”

It is understood that Swarovski will continue to supply its crystals to a very select number of partners operating in the high-end and luxury apparel and accessories sectors only.

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