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Cartier—World’s Luxury Jeweler and Watch Manufacturer
Cartier is a French jeweler and watch manufacturer and is among the world’s top five jewelry manufacturers. The other four include Bulgari, Harry Winstonm, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Tiffany. Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier when he took over his master’s workshop. The company has a long history of serving royalty, as well as stars and celebrities. Cartier has even once been designated as the “Joaillier des Rois, Roi des Joailliers” (Jeweler of the Kings, King of Jewelers) by prince Edward VII of Wales. Cartier SA is headquartered in Paris and operates more than 200 stores in 125 different countries. In addition, the company has four emblematic boutiques located in Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo.
Cartier in China—pioneer for a successful market entry strategy
As pioneer of international jewelry market in China, Cartier first entered China in 1992. In 1998, it opened its first exclusive shop in mainland China on Wang Fu Jing Street in Beijing. By 2010, Cartier had 11 watch dealers and 58 exclusive shops in China. Its early entry into the Chinese market and its fast growth gave it a competitive advantage over other international jewelry brands in China. ‘When the others have 5 branch stores, we will have 30.’ Cartier stated. As luxury shopping becomes increasingly popular in China, the competition in the Chinese market will certainly intensify. Brazil and India will be the next biggest consumer market in the world after China, but China will continue to be the biggest for the next ten years. According to a report published by PwC, the sales of luxury goods in China this year will be up to 15.5 billion USD. It estimates that luxury goods sales in China will exceed Japan for the first time, and thus becoming the largest consumer of luxury goods in the world.
Female consumers and entry into second-tier cities
Females comprise the biggest consumer group for luxury goods and accessories in China. Cartier says it not only considers what female consumers are willing to buy when marketing its products but also how they think and what they do. It recently launched a program called ‘Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards’ aiming at expressing the brand’s support to female entrepreneurs worldwide. Cartier is still putting a lot of effort into promoting itself and increasing its brand awareness. 20 years ago when it first entered China, it only focused on the biggest cities. Now the brand is looking to expand into second-tier cities, especially in South China, as it plans to open stores in cities like Ning Bo and Wen Zhou.
- Official website
- Slideshare document on Cartier
- China Daily on Cartier
- Wall Street Journal about Cartier
- Policy towards luxury businesses
- Market Entry Strategy China
Picture Source: Cartier