As we all know, De Beers is cutting back, like the rest of the industry. (See the latest sad events at GIA.) Here is some of how it’s shaking out:
-The company is apparently closing its ”non-commercial” U.S. representative office in Washington D.C. (background).
– There does seem to be some scaling back, and slowing down, of the worldwide Forevermark roll-out.
De Beers unveiled the “Forevermark” collection last week in Hong Kong, and plans to roll out the “Mark” out to six new cities in China this summer. So that seems basically on track.
However, the Japanese launch was originally supposed to happen in the first quarter of 2009 — but will now happen this May. India was supposed to happen in the second quarter, but has been pushed back to later this year, and has been “re-focussed.” And the Taiwan and South Africa launches are “postponed,” with no new launch date yet.
– On an up note, apparently some progress has been made on the “generic marketing” front. There will be more details at next week’s sight.
UPDATE: De Beers has this statement about the DC office:
Several years ago, De Beers’ External & Corporate Affairs unit established a small office in Washington DC focussed on stimulating a discussion about the role of business in African development – an issue core to De Beers’ commercial and sustainability strategies.
We are pleased to say that we’ve made good progress in advancing this discussion, and are committed to continuing to do so. After establishing the office and spending more than two years there, Rosalind Kainyah will take time out from De Beers to actively pursue her passion for the role of the private sector in development in her home country of Ghana.
There will be no change in De Beers’ US strategy, which will continue to be led by the company’s External & Corporate Affairs unit.