How Italian brands are making waves in the UK

Chimento, Fope and Marco Bicego are bringing Italian flavour to the UK.

Italian jewellery brands are enjoying a period of growth and rising popularity in the UK market, thanks in part to positive developments at Chimento, Fope and Marco Bicego in the second half of last year.

Talking exclusively to Professional Jeweller, Chimento export manager Michele Battaglioli revealed that the brand has recently secured Travis Burne and Matt McCawley of BurneMcCawley as its new UK sales agents.

The company currently supports Tivon fine jewellery and German jewellery brand Bastian Inverun among others. Prior to signing this agreement, Chimento had achieved considerable success among UK retailers, with Battaglioli commenting that 50% of turnover is now generated outside of Italy among international markets.

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As well as being registered suppliers to the Houlden Group and The Company of Master Jewellers, the brand is reportedly faring well in the US, Japan and specifi cally Russia — its second biggest market outside of Italy. As of December 2014, Chimento had secured more than 15 UK and Irish stockists including Bradley’s the Jewellers in Harrogate, CW Sellors in Ashbourne, Matlock and Bakewell, Phillip Stoner in Leeds and Paul Sheeran in Dublin.

Battaglioli, who joined the company in September 2014, now aims to reach 70 UK doors in the next three years, highlighting an aim of 40 UK stockists by summer 2015.

With RRPs from £400 to £2,500, Chimento positions itself as the ‘Italian jeweller for the British family’. To support this Chimento has rebranded, showcasing its 18ct yellow gold and diamond collections with complimentary warm brown and dove grey colours.

Similarly, Fope is making its push into the UK having opened its fi rst branded area within the Goldsmiths store in London’s Brent Cross Shopping Centre in November. The move was made in partnership with the Aurum Group, which sells the brand through its Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb stores nationwide.

At the time, Fope marketing director Guilia Cazzola stated that the opening was a “step forward in the positioning of the brand” in the British market. Speaking exclusively to Professional Jeweller she adds: “The UK market is one of the top three for Fope, thanks to both a strong business relationship with the top independent British jewellers and a winning partnership with the Aurum Group.”

In 2015, Fope will dedicate even more energy to the UK market, launching a brand new communications campaign in March, and a fresh stand in a new location at Baselworld.

Finally, Marco Bicego has celebrated significant success in the last six months, securing 43 UK doors (seven of which were opened in 2014), including a concession in Harrods and two in Harvey Nichols’ Manchester and Knightsbridge stores. The brand named PJ Watson as its new distributor in January 2014, signalling major new openings, including a branded display area in SWAG Jewellers, Kingston.

In November, PJ Watson released a conservative estimate for the brand’s growth, stating at least 14% year-on-year, which is supported by positive sell-through rates, regular enquiries from stockist and the presence of full-page adverts in consumer press.

The company’s founder Marco Bicego told Professional Jeweller: “To Marco Bicego, distribution in the UK is one of our most important market in Europe. For 2015, we want to maintain our primary position with the already acquired retail partners and we would like to expand in the UK (to areas where we are not distributed) and Ireland next year with carefully selected outlets.”

He concludes: “We will be launching some new and exciting collections that will enhance the presence of the Marco Bicego Brand within the market.”

This feature was taken from the January issue of Professional Jeweller. To read more click here.

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