Spanish fine jewelry house Carrera y Carrera announced this week that is has been purchased by a private foreign investor from the Lladró family, owners since 2002.
According to brand, the new owner, who wishes to remain unnamed, is accustomed to international challenges, is appreciative of luxury and a lover of art, and sees the acquisition as a long-term investment. The new owner is also providing Carrera y Carrera’s senior management team with what it calls “significant financial support” to bring to fruition an ambitious five-year plan. The brand set up its new American subsidiary with an office on Madison Avenue in New York City, which will service not only the U.S. but all of North America. As a part of the company’s expansion, Carrera y Carrera is also developing business in major international markets like Japan, Russia, and China.
Former vice president, Thierry Collot, has moved into the spot president of Carrera y Carrera America, Inc. His experience working with the brand, and with other luxury companies like LVMH and Bertolucci, give him a keen understanding of its inner workings and of the fine jewelry markets in the Americas. He answered JCK’s questions about the latest developments in an email interview this week.
JCK: How many wholesale accounts does Carrera currently possess in the U.S.?
Thierry Collot: We currently have a very selective distribution in the US with 22 accounts operating 35 points of sale, including 12 Neiman Marcus stores.
JCK: What U.S. market accounts for the bulk of Carrera sales in the U.S.?
TC: All the points of sale have had a very average performance that should improve significantly in the next five years to define leaders.
JCK: What is the five-year plan for adding more accounts in the States?
TC: Our five-year plan is to gradually and cautiously open the distribution by about five points of sale per year.
JCK: Does the private foreign investor have any jewelry experience or own other jewelry businesses, and what will this new ownership mean for the designs?
TC: The new ownership has no prior experience in the industry and intends to remain a discreet private investor, leaving the management and definitely the design and development of the range to the current executive team.
JCK: Detail the expansion plans for the brand in Japan, Russia, and China; how many accounts does Carrera intend to open in each country in the next five years?
TC: CyC is obviously strong in Spain, and Europe in general, but Russia and Eastern Europe in particular. The current development plan is to refocus on the American market, which used to be very strong for the brand, as well as develop the Asian markets.
JCK: How has the brand been affected by the economic downturn in the past two years?
TC: The brand has been under performing for quite a few years and therefore was not truly affected by the recent economic downturn. CyC is already experiencing a nice recovery, or rebound in our case, with growth above 50 percent so far this year. The biggest challenge for the brand has been to rebuild its identity around a very strong and distinctive, unique DNA and in the near future to regain its position on all key markets.
For more information about Carrera y Carrera, contact D’Orazio & Associates, Beverly Hills, Calif.; 310-860-0041.