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Chennai, Aug. 4

Crystal brand Swarovski hopes to have 30 retail outlets operating by end-2008. Between now and 2007, it will open a couple more, said Mr V. Shiv Kumar, Country Manager, Consumer Goods Business, Swarovski India Pvt Ltd.

In Chennai to launch Swarovski's latest numbered limited edition figurine, The Elephant, Mr Shiv Kumar said the company's customers have "got segmented heavily" - there were those who bought smaller pieces and there were those who bought large pieces but in limited numbers.

Only for Club members

Swarovski jewellery is becoming popular and now accounts for nearly 45 per cent of the brand's sales in India, he said.

The Elephant, which costs Rs 1.69 lakh, is being sold only to members of the Swarovski Club. There are 10,000 pieces in all. The members number half-a-million worldwide.

Those interested have to apply to the company and would be selected by a draw of lots in October if the number of applications exceed the number of figurines available. In India, there are 2,000 members.

Making limited editions available only to club members is a strategy Swarovski has followed since 1995. The world over, not only is there growing desire to acquire limited editions and rare works of art, but an attendant want to be recognised, guaranteed and distinguished as one possessing such rare pieces.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 5, 2006)
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