As the global jewellery retailer enters its 125th year of business, Swarovski Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Brett Spinks, is keen to build on the company’s strong local growth.
How would you describe the past year at swarovski?
2019 was a fantastic year for Swarovski Australia with record sales. The focus has been on people; our customers and employees.
Our customers come first, providing unparalleled service and delighting our customers is non-negotiable.
We’ve continued to build on our loyalty programs and 2020 will see
the complete evolution of Be Swarovski to the Swarovski Club, a new style community and tiered rewards program.
Customers can advance through bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels for new benefits and rewards with each tier level.
We’re also speaking to younger customers on their terms, reaching them via influencer collaborations, as well as increased presence on social media and digital platforms.
Driving talent development within the business is also paramount.
At Swarovski, we aim to empower each and every individual in the business to achieve their professional and personal goals.
Throughout 2019, our leadership team has evolved, we’ve recruited several new store managers and have had a number of promotions within head office.
We’ve generated an environment for collaboration across functions and teams, all united with one common goal for the business.
Australia and New Zealand continue to grow, offering us consistent opportunities and learnings across the board.
What have been the challenges?
The consumer landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it’s vital that we seize every opportunity to learn about our customers; the way they shop, consume media, follow trends and what they are looking for when they shop.
Black Friday is a great example, we’ve seen exponential growth in sales in 2019 in comparison to 2018. Swarovski remains agile as a retail business; we review and learn from each execution and program to continuously improve.
We’ve also experienced a shift and growth in our e-commerce business, we will continue to optimise this channel, but we are focused on doing this while growing and improving our bricks-and-mortar stores.
Have there been any interesting shifts in consumer behaviour in the past year?
Our CRM programs, Swarovski Club and Swarovski Crystal Society, allow us to understand our customers’ behaviors and what motivates them to purchase.
With this information, we’re able to tailor promotions and benefits to retain loyalty and reward them for shopping with us.
Millennials are the fastest growing customer group in our loyalty program and we’ve seen a huge shift to self-purchase.
We’ve also seen growth in the number of Chinese customers, they’re more digitally exposed than ever and their shopping behavior continues to evolve.
What plans do you have for the business over the next 12 months?
2020 is the 125th anniversary of Swarovski, it’s a significant milestone that celebrates 125 years of rich heritage and mastery.
We are the current day ambassadors of the brand and we want to bring Swarovski to life through our products and our people.
Development and engagement will continue to be a priority as we seek to empower and build trust within our team and with our customers.
We’re aiming for another record year in traffic and sales by remaining nimble and cultivating talent.
Daniel Swarovski founded this company with the strong belief that a business will only continue to thrive as long as the people and natural resources that it depends upon can also thrive.
Today, Daniel’s legacy lives on through Swarovski’s global sustainability strategy.
This strategy prioritises five key themes, including women’s empowerment, water stewardship, fair partnerships, conscious design and sustainable innovation.
Via this strategy, we are also implementing two key programs.
Firstly, there is the positive production program, an initiative that aims to ensure excellence in sustainability in all Swarovski manufacturing and production locations – from Austria and Serbia to India, Thailand and Vietnam – by 2020.
It enables us to invest in our workforce and make a positive impact on the planet, our people and the wider communities in which we operate.
Secondly, the conscious design program, which was developed and is being driven by Nadja Swarovski and the sustainability team.
This initiative focuses on how we can build sustainability into design through our engagement with in-house designers and through our collaborations with external designers and design schools.
This program inspires designers to adopt sustainable practices and we have provided the wider design community with over 6 million upcycled crystals in the last five years to promote the circular economy.
In addition to striving for sustainable business practices, Swarovski is always keen to play its part in society.
In 2000 we established the Swarovski Waterschool, an education program which has expanded globally and reached more than half a million young people to date.
Using innovative teaching methods, the program works with local partners to address global water and sanitation issues.
Its mission is to educate and empower future generations to treasure and protect the world’s most precious resource and inspire them to become leaders in sustainable development.
Sustainability is an ongoing commitment for us and will be a key focus in 2020 and beyond.
How has e-commerce affected Swarovski’s operations?
There’s huge growth opportunity within e-commerce. Our Australian and New Zealand websites continue to grow.
Online partners such as The Iconic and Myer have also experienced growth.
Online shoppers have expectations and needs that we need to meet, the introduction of Afterpay and express delivery options are just a couple
of capabilities we’ve introduced that do this.
Are there any key trends in the jewellery sector?
We create extraordinary designs for every day and every occasion.
We’ve certainly seen a trend and affinity towards personalisation. Our remix collection caters to every customer, you can create a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece by mixing and matching strands and pendants.
Our customers are looking for value and style, every Swarovski piece tells a story, boundaries are constantly pushed with new cuts, shapes and sizes conceived every day.
Our advantage is that our products are truly unique and brought to life through our innovative technology – our engineering abilities, cutting-edge processes and expertise in making crystal, which have been perfected over the years.
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