Portuguese gold jeweller ELEUTERIO eyes European markets
OPORTO, Portugal, October 28, 2012 – ELEUTERIO, a top tier Portuguese jewellery house specialising in hand-crafted fine gold and filigree designs, is looking at expanding its sales in Europe and building its bespoke business in emerging markets.
ELEUTERIO’s owner Luis Antunes said that soaring gold costs had re-shaped the positioning of the brand as the precious metal had moved out of reach of some buyers, shifting his focus to the high end of the market and to a more international clientele.
“We are adapting our strategy to the new realities of the higher gold price, which has hugely transformed the way we do business as the cost of our raw materials has become a big challenge,” Antunes told Jewellery Outlook in an interview.
He said customers now see gold jewellery more as an investment, as well as fulfilling an emotional need.
“The client with economic power sees gold jewellery as something which expresses status and distinction, and sees a product that increases in value,” he said.
Luis Antunes said ELEUTERIO was looking to expand sales across a wider geographical reach, and to capitalise as a brand on the Portuguese goldsmithing tradition.
“We are now paying close attention to building our brand with the main focus on Europe, at the high end of the market, and we are raising the profile of our Portuguese heritage, marketing our pieces as ‘Portuguese Jewels Art and Soul,’” he said.
The filigree creations, developed by designer Susana Martins, are contemporary while retaining a classical focus that appeals to the brand’s cosmopolitan clients.
“We have re-invented filigree to make it more modern and personalised,” Antunes said. “We are on a quest to find the perfect equilibrium between tradition, art and contemporary design.”
ELEUTERIO, which has grown as a supplier of hand-crafted filigree gold jewels since it was founded 1925 in north Portugal, is moving with the demands of a globalised economy to meet the requirements of high-net-worth individuals who seek exquisite, unique pieces, frequently combining diamonds with gold.
Already well established in the United States, Angola, Mozambique and Brazil, ELEUTERIO, which exhibits its collections at the International Jewellery London (IJL) trade fair, is looking to expand its presence in the UK market via independent retail stores and chains, and is eyeing expansion in eastern Europe, focusing on Poland and Russia.
In Poland, ELEUTERIO pieces are now available in stores of the retail group W.Kruk and, in Portugal, they can be found at upmarket shops and at El Corte Inglés department stores.
Since September, ELEUTERIO jewels have been for sale in the British Museum shop, retailing in a range of 1,200 to 4,000 pounds.
The bespoke segment continues to be an important component of ELEUTERIO’s international business in countries such as Angola, with banks brokering sales of exceptional pieces to clients, for whom ELEUTERIO develops private collections.
“Wealthy people in Luanda move in small circles and see each other often at parties and events, and it is important for people to wear a piece that is unique, special and distinctive – a piece that other people in that society do not have,” Antunes said.
ELEUTERIO is also looking to raise its profile in India and among British-Asian clients, in partnership with emerging UK brand PureJewels.