Swarovski buys Chamilia

As part of its goal to become the world's biggest jewellery company by 2020, Austria's Swarovski has bought US-based Chamilia.
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As part of its goal to become the world’s biggest jewellery company by 2020, Austria’s Swarovski has bought US-based Chamilia.

Announcing the acquisition in a press statement neither party disclosed the terms of the transaction but it has been widely reported that Chamilia will now operate as as an independent business unit within Swarovski.

Chamilia’s chief sales and marketing officer Rich Garrity told Jewellery World that the deal, which was completed on April 30, would not result in any changes to the bead jewellery company’s management team or product range and distribution.

“Douglas Brown, who joined Chamilia as CEO in January 2013 having spent the previous 17 years with Swarovski in North America, will continue on as CEO,” he said.

“We will continue to be focused on improving product performance and retail execution within our two core markets of North America and Europe.”

Brown however told JCK magazine that Chamilia co-founder and designer Killian Reider does not currently have a formal role under the new deal.

“Killian and the founders had done a great job building the company to where it is today, so we will leave the doors open for future possibilities with her, but currently there are no formal plans in place,” he said.

Swarovski, which acquired a minority interest in Chamilia in 2011 and is reported to have purchased a minority interest in Mumbai-based Tara Jewels in December, has recently publicised its plans to buy more jewellery brands.

Speaking at the ‘Swarovski 2020 Vision’ press conference in BaselWorld just six days before the Chamilia acquisition, Swarovski’s consumer goods business CEO Robert Buchbauer said the company was aiming to become the global jewellery market leader with a portfolio of brands.

He said the company aimed to achieve this goal via organic growth, development of inhouse brands and an acquisition strategy.

Established in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski who invented a machine for cutting and polishing crystal jewellery stones, today Swarovski designs and sells its loose crystal ‘elements’ to the jewellery industry as well as its own  jewellery, accessories and home décor items through more than 2200 retail outlets around the world.

Founded in 2002, Chamilia distributes personalised beaded jewellery products to more than 3000 stores globally.

The two companies joined forces “in a global strategic partnership” which saw the launch of two jewellery collections in late 2011 – a co-branded bead collection for sale in Swarovski boutiques and a Swarovski Collection of beads for Chamilia retail outlets.

* Pictured above a bead from Chamilia’s Swarovski Collection.

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