The renowned diamond company announced this Tuesday that it has officially bought LVMH-Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s 50 percent shareholding in De Beers Diamond Jewelers.
The De Beers Diamond Jeweler purchase will help De Beers integrate across a retail network that includes 32 stores in 17 leading consumer markets, worldwide with a known presence in London, Paris and New York, and a growing business in greater China.
The French luxury group LVMH first teamed up with De Beers in 2001 to create a jewelry retailer that would open in high-fashion cities and sell De Beers-branded jewelry.
The Luxembourg-based mining and trading giant launched as De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited in 1888 and controlled almost two-thirds of the world’s rough diamonds at the time of the partnership, according to the New York Times.
“With its strong brand awareness, consummate diamond expertise and a commitment to responsibility, De Beers Diamond Jewelers is a trusted and industry-leading diamond jeweler,” De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said in a statement. “More fully integrating the De Beers Diamond Jewelers brand and store network will enable us to deliver an even more differentiated diamond offering, alongside our fast-growing diamond brand, Forevermark.”
The announcement comes at a time when diamond suppliers are facing a challenging market : the strength of the dollar, the tightening of anti-corruption laws in China (which has affected gifting), and the general slowdown of the hard-luxury market, diamonds in particular, has hit luxury jewellers hard at a time of volatility in the wider luxury market.
On top of this, the retail market for luxury jewellery remains tough; competitor Tiffany & Co has struggled to maintain its standing as an industry leader in both its mature markets like United States and emerging markets like China.
So is a Diamond forever?