Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alrosa Considering $50 million Jewelry Retail Chain

Jun 17, 2007
IDEX Online, Israel
Online Staff Reporter

Russian diamond miner Alrosa has never limited itself solely to diamonds. The company is also involved in gold and other precious commodities. Now the miner is contemplating heading downstream with the establishment of a chain of diamond jewelry stores.

According to a report in the Russian Vedomosty newspaper, Alrosa is planning to invest $50 million in establishing the high-end retail operation. Vedomosty reports that the company is considering jewelry lines for men, women and children, with prices starting at $800.

Alrosa president Sergey Vybornov told Vedomosty, that Alrosa has the capacity to establish 50 shops in Moscow and other main cities within five years. He also said that the retail products may be manufactured outside of Russia, and suggested Armenia as a potential manufacturing location.

The plan has already drawn some criticism. Ararat Evoyan, vice president of the Russian Diamond Manufacturers Association, calls the project a “reckless scheme.”

To succeed in a jewelry production and retail operation, more the $50 million is needed, Evoyan said. Vybornov countered that the goal is to raise demand for diamonds.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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