July 22, 2021 4 min read 0 Comments
Are they going out of business?
Swarovski has been in the news lately for not so sparkly reasons...
Under their newest CEO Robert Buchbauer, Swarovski announced a restructure and an overhaul of what the company stands for at large.
They announced that 6000 Wattens staff members would lose their jobs in late December 2020 as a result of said structural change.
What at first glance seems like a harsh change is a LOT more than that, Swarovski wants to re-align their brand to luxury.
“Swarovski crystals on a 10-euro T-shirt don’t add to our profitability and hurt our brand image.” said Robert Buchbauer. They want to stop being the crystal for everyone and focus on luxury and their uniqueness.
While Robert's plan has been met with resistance, “There are still lots of opportunities to sell billions of high-quality crystal components around the world, and Robert Buchbauer has to come up with ideas on how to gain these customers rather than shutting things down and laying off expert workers.” Paul Swarovski.
There is no denying that Swarovski has slipped quite drastically due to globalisation confusing it's once association with luxury.
Daniel Swarovski created this 'diamond for everyone' and we believe that in many ways Robert would like to refocus on that direction.A means and way to disconnect its association with cheap and cheerful on a fast fashion sweat-shirt and truly redefine ethical luxury.
"Swarovski is a company rooted in innovation and reinvention. For 126 years, we have stayed true to our DNA as a brand while rising to meet the changing needs of an evolving world. Indeed, we are aiming to reposition Swarovski in the field of attainable luxury. That's why the new designs have a higher perceived value in terms of volume, refinement and techniques versus previous collections. A lot of the pieces, though, especially at entry-level, are comparable in price points to similar scale items in the past." as quoted in a Forbes interview, really brings home the true meaning of this restructure.
A few months later and with key stakeholders on board, Robert announced six key commitments to their sustainability goals that will further strengthen this sparkly eco brand.
“More than ever, it is important that we take stock of our business’s place in society and evaluate the contribution we make to it. We cannot return to business as usual,” said Buchbauer with a letter he shared with the press in April 2021.
“Since our founding in 1895, a love of people and the environment have been integral parts of our DNA,” he added. “While over the years we have achieved notable process in addressing the world’s most pressing issues, we recognize this is no longer enough.”
This has only been amplified by the global pandemic and while the world rises from the aftermath of Covid-19, there is an opportunity to do better that Swarovski has recognised and is working towards.
Their environmental initiatives include, significantly (further) reducing greenhouse gas emissions through out its value chain by 2030.
They will adopt a circular business by focusing on waste reduction throughout its value chain. And a commitment to further improving the sustainability of their products.
Social initiatives amplify their desire “to be recognized as a brand that is built on a foundation of equality and inclusivity” by championing diversity and celebrating individuality.
Swarovski will also amplify their education initiatives, and to ensure the health and safety of its working environments around the world to be in compliance with International Labor Organization, United Nations, and Responsible Jewellery Council.
Buchbauer's restructure revolves are simplification of Swarovskis operations and amplification of attainable luxury, “realigned along one common vision, one strategy and one organization.”
At the ground level, we assume, it will involve going back to basics on their ranges and honing down on a new luxury focused starting point.
We see that happening with a significant reduction in the width and depth of their crystal ranges.
Their supply chain will be tightened, ensure that businesses access only from Swarovski certified suppliers (yay!)
The cost of Swarovskis is likely to go up because while they want them to be accessible, they've realised that over usage has cheapened the brand association and they want to roll back to where they started - a Diamond for Everyone - accessible, luxurious, not as expensive or notorious as most diamonds and not the same as the sparkles on a fast fashion jumper
Where do we stand?
We stand where we are but we stand taller.
Because we want you to be luxurious and feel luxurious and we've always approached this via the right channels - it does affect what we have instore at the moment.
The new Swarovski listings are expected to roll out in September 2021
And we understand that they'll discontinue a lot of their special releases with no intention to repeat - THIS affects us the most - we tend to use a lot of limited release pieces
But, we've made the conscious decision to not hoard and instead decided to revisit a few pieces incase they don't make the cut like Blush On Earrings, Jack Black Earrings, Ma Cherie Earrings and The Shan
And adding on a few more exciting potentially limited availability crystals over the next few months...
In all honesty - there's no telling on what the future holds
Will they have our faves?
Will we need a complete design rehaul?
We don't know but we're going to respect the process
But this makes everything we create, even more special...
You'll be leaning into ethical luxury like never before when you invest in Swarovski
While we go through a patch of limbo and play out the next phase with Swarovski, get on board and shop with Bidiliia for your next self love or gift of love purchase, so we continue to have the strength to keep on keepin' and YOUR support matters the MOST
Robert Buchbauer as quoted on Bloomberg
Giovanna Englebert & Robert Buchbauer interview for Forbes
Fashion Network unveiling Swarovskis sustainability goals