In this special online series with Fordham, ragtrader.com.au sits down for five fast questions with five industry leaders. Here, the Australian MD of one of the world's most respected luxury businesses talks strategy.
Isabelle About: Cartier Australia and New Zealand managing director
When did Cartier first enter the Australian/New Zealand market?
Cartier has been in Australia and New Zealand since 1987 through our own subsidiary. We initially stared with three internal boutiques being Sydney, Melbourne and Surfer’s Paradise as well as a wholesale distribution. In New Zealand, we are present through our watch specialist network.
Is it wholly owned or through a subsidiary?
Cartier is a Richemont owned subsidiary.
How has the brand expanded in Australia/NZ since it first came here?
In the past five years, we have reset our network distribution to offer the right level of experience and service to our clients. This has included relocating our Sydney Flagship boutique to a new location where we tripled the square meterage of our offering. In Melbourne, we also relocated our boutique and we doubled the square meterage, and we relocated our Surfers Paradise boutique to a more premium location in Brisbane. We launched our eCommerce platform two years ago, and in 2017 we opened our Chadstone boutique.
Have there been any structural or ownership changes?
No, as the business is a fully owned subsidiary.
What have been some of the major growth strategies in the past two years?
Boutique openings, expansions and relocations have been key, as well launch of our eCommerce platform and investing in client treatments. Each year we host one of a kind events for our clients. For example in Sydney, we recently hosted The Cartier Precious Garage party for 500 guests to celebrate our iconic Juste Un Clou and Écrou collections. It was a truly memorable evening under the Anzac Bridge, bringing to life the energy and edginess of the collections, featuring a special performance by international guest Rita Ora
Are there any specific campaigns, products or activations for Australia/NZ specifically?
Our products and campaigns are international to ensure worldwide consistency. In Australia, our clients can enjoy the same products and services in our boutiques as they would anywhere else in the world. In November, we brought The Cartier Precious Garage to Australia – an event activation seen in Milan and New York, which shows the support that is given to our market!
What are the biggest opportunities here (i.e. inbound Chinese tourism, strong economy)?
A strong economy, growing local Chinese community and in bound Chinese tourism. Coupled with the fact that many brands are investing in the local market, which is providing a much better offering to local clients, which benefits with wider industry. Australia’s don’t have to travel overseas to shop their favourite brands.
What have been the strongest performing categories in Australia/NZ?
Jewellery is our top category, followed by watches
What are the future plans for Australia and New Zealand?
As usual we continue to explore relevant opportunities to grow the business, whilst always remaining exclusive.
Any other highlights?
Another important moment for our Maison in 2018 was bringing Cartier: The Exhibition, to The National Gallery of Australia. It was a world class exhibition, showcasing more than 300 creations with loans from royal families, celebrities and the Cartier Collection. Australians were delighted to have the opportunity to view this incredibly rare collection, it was a huge success.