It has been clear for some time that online shopping, including jewelry, is one of the unstoppable trends. Not all the big jewelry brands, however, have noticed. Or, when they realized it, not everyone was able to keep up with the times. The Damiani group perhaps started from this consideration when it decided to invest in LuisaViaRoma (luisaviaroma.com), one of the most solid and successful marketplaces in fashion and jewelry. The company led by Guido Grassi Damiani, in fact, acquired a (minority) stake, through the corporate vehicle Florence, the majority of which is held by the private equity fund Style Capital, led by Roberta Benaglia.
The operation will allow Damiani, it is assumed, a visibility within the sales channel dedicated to jewelry. And, in fact, to also profit from the sales of other brands of jewelry, as well as from the general business of the site. On the other hand, the words of the group president confirm that it is also a financial choice.
This investment is not just a financial transaction, but is aimed at seizing new growth opportunities complementary to those of our core business and also at strengthening our digital competence. Luisa Via Roma is a company that has been able to establish itself on the market with an innovative business model: a perfect hybrid between retail and digital distribution. The company was able to implement and structure one of the most important e-commerce portals in the world of luxury by offering a digital experience made in Italy and helping to strengthen the perception of high-end products. We have great confidence in the growth potential of the company, in the management skills and in the proven skills of Style Capital.
Guido Grassi Damiani – President of the Damiani Group
A note from the Valenza group that we report below also summarizes the company’s latest moves and strategy.
Despite the changes brought about by the pandemic that have revolutionized the economic scenario and the luxury market, the Damiani Group has not stopped its strategic plans for the expansion of its leadership.
The rethinking of investments has led, on the one hand, to the strengthening of digital, intended as a complementary lever for business growth, through the construction of a structured division at Group level, while on the other hand new development plans have been implemented at retail and wholesale.
In 2020, for example, an agreement was signed with the Fosun Group for the establishment of a new company under Chinese law which has the ambitious goal of strong growth in the region through the opening of over a dozen Damiani mono-brand boutiques and a hundred of Salvini stores. In 2021, a Damiani flagship store was opened at the prestigious Shanghai International Finance Center and the first Salvini store in China.
In the same period, the Group became Category Partner of the Rinascente di Milano for the distribution of high-end jewelery and watches, it inaugurated a prestigious Rocca boutique in the very central Via Nassa in Lugano but also two stores in Malpensa and in the coming months, the reopening (after a renovation) of the Rocca di Bologna boutique, a boutique at the Milan Linate airport and a Rolex mono-brand boutique in the prestigious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, as well as a series of new openings and strategic operations such as, just completed, acquisition of the majority of the Bruno Maria Zimmitti jewelers: well-known Italian retailer, founded in Syracuse in 1858, which distributes prestigious high-end watchmaking and jewelery brands within its three stores, including Damiani, Salvini, Rolex and Bulgarians.
The Damiani group has strong growth objectives for the next few years, both organically and in terms of scope, proposing itself as a consolidator in the sector. In fact, in Italy, the industrial fabric is full of small-medium-sized companies that are still owned by the founding families and that, following the economic and cultural changes already underway for years, now accelerated by the pandemic, must choose the path better to continue to be competitive on the market. The objective of the Damiani Group is to be able to help by making a common front and putting its experience and organization at the service of these companies in the sector (whether they are retailers, brands or manufacturers) with the ambition of growing together.
Over the course of its centennial history, through strategic operations, the Damiani Group has managed to define and structure a solid architecture of the brand: within its portfolio, the independent Group still managed today by the heirs of the founder, holds, in the precious , in addition to the namesake Damiani, a high-end jewelery brand of Made In Italy excellence at an international level, Salvini, a brand with considerable awareness in Italy but rapidly developing in the Far East, which interprets the great classics of jewelery giving life to creations that express the essence of accessible luxury and Bliss which operates in the mini jewelery segment offering to a younger audience creations characterized by elegance and character, class and style.
Still in the jewelry segment, the Group has redefined the identity and positioning of the historic Calderoni brand: since 1840 excellence in the selection of precious stones and today the Group’s Business Unit specializing in the marketing of loose natural diamonds. In 2008, Rocca 1794 also joined the portfolio: the luxury chain has established itself as the main player at national level in the sector of the distribution of high-end jewelery and watches and is now planning strategic international expansion activities.
In 2020, the Group reached 100% of Venini, a centenary Murano artistic glass factory whose iconic works of art are exhibited in the most important museums in the world, with the aim of defining a new business development plan and strengthening the distribution globally. In addition, the Group over the years has completed numerous financial investments in Made in Italy companies.