June 14, 2018 / 11:59 AM / 5 months ago

LVMH targets growing jewellery sales with online boost

FILE PHOTO: Jean-Claude Biver, Tag Heuer CEO and President of LVMH Watch Division poses with a watch movement and a Zenith El Primero 21 watch at the at the Baselworld watch and jewellery fair in Basel, Switzerland March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

PARIS (Reuters) - LVMH (LVMH.PA), the French group behind the labels Louis Vuitton and Celine, is launching a dedicated jewellery section on its multi-brand e-commerce site, joining rivals jostling for a slice of one of the fastest-growing luxury goods businesses.

Luxury firms from LVMH to Cartier-owner Richemont (CFR.S) are bolstering their web presence, and high-end jewellery and watches - once thought unlikely to attract online shoppers given their high price tags - are emerging as one key battleground.

Though the market for premium clothing remains much larger, jewellery sales grew faster than any other part of the luxury goods industry last year bar shoes, rising 10 percent at constant currencies to 17 billion euros (14.9 billion pounds), according to consultancy Bain.

24Sevres, the web retailer launched by LVMH last year listing fashion items from its own labels and competitors like Italy’s Valentino, said in a statement it would as of Thursday feature a fine jewellery section, with items from 13 brands.

The site previously only sold earrings, necklaces or rings belonging to the clothing labels listed on the platform like Vuitton, but it will now market items from specialist jewellers like Parisian brand Ofee.

The most affordable pieces will retail at around $90, will prices rising to $2,500.

Yoox Net-a-Porter YNAP.MI, one of the online luxury world’s most established players and which is coming under the full control of Richemont, said in April it would open a dedicated watch and jewellery section on its platform.

YNAP had already partnered with brands experimenting with online sales in this category, often for one-off runs of a product. In March its men’s style site Mr Porter featured its most expensive item yet, a $480,000 watch by French label Bell & Ross.

Reporting by Sarah White; editing by David Evans

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