De Beers is now officially a retailer.
The company’s first store, run by venture partner LVMH, opened in December in London’s Bond Street retail area. The opening, originally planned for November, was delayed 10 days because of problems securing enough diamonds for the jewelry. The New York Times and other news outlets noted the irony of the world’s largest diamond miner being unable to get enough goods.
Despite this—and a mini-controversy when a human rights group plastered a message on the store’s outside billboard (see page 46)—the store’s glitzy opening drew a flock of celebrities including Rosanna Arquette and De Beers’ new “style icon,” Iman, as well as the chain’s other icon, the 203-ct. Millennium Star.
The company plans to open stores in New York and Tokyo in 2003 and has launched a Web site at www.debeers.com.