Swarovski denies it will close 3, 000 stores, but times are hard

In an interview with CEO Robert Buchbauer, The Austrian jewelry brand said only that it would reduce its global network of 3,000 stores, or close a small number of physical stores that do not fit with its new strategy to better optimize its retail network, according to a statement from the company to Pear Video on Sept. 7.

The company also said that as part of the new strategy, some of its existing stores will be upgraded to new retail concept stores.

Since the beginning of this year, the coVID-19 has hit the global retail industry hard.

On July 22, Swarovski announced that it would cut 1,000 jobs in its German office in the autumn of 2020 due to the impact of the coVID-19 outbreak and the consequent operational pressures. By the end of June, Swarovski had cut 600 jobs in its global markets, including 200 at its Austrian headquarters.

Robert Buchbauer, swarovski’s chairman and chief executive, said the cuts were “painful but absolutely necessary.”

The move comes just days after Bloomberg reported that Swarovski was considering giving up some of its stake through its founding family to pursue an IPO or a new strategic job. Robert Buchbauer, the company’s chief executive, called it a “painful but necessary” measure.

Due to coVID-19 and restructuring plans, Swarovski’s crystal business results for the full year are likely to fall by more than 30 percent from a year ago. Before the outbreak, the company was optimistic that its crystal business would grow by about 4 per cent for the full year. Since June, the company has carried out two rounds of job cuts and begun a plan to restructure management.

It remains to be seen whether the Swarovski family will give up its stake. The plans are subject to shareholder approval.

Swarovski had revenues of €2.7bn in 2019.