Famed Italian jeweler and luxury goods firm Bulgari plans to cut jobs, close stores and pare down its collections in the wake of a disastrous 45% drop in profits. The company, which was founded in 1884, has seen its watch business suffer badly in the economic downturn, with sales plunging 10.6%, Vogue UK reports. Accessories dropped 1.5% and jewelery, the company’s core business, dropped 2.5%. On the plus side, perfume sales have increased by 12%, perhaps an indication that consumers see fragrance as a relatively affordable luxury. Sales in America and Europe were particularly poor, though the Middle East was up by 9%.
The company, a red carpet favorite of stars like Halle Berry, Keira Knightley and Kate Hudson, describes its jewelry as “pure luxury obtained by means of daring combinations, precious materials, purity of design and meticulous attention to detail.” “[This year] will be a very difficult year,” states Bulgari CEO Francesco Trapani, adding that future earnings are impossible to predict. “We don’t feel able to give a number of any meaning because the situation is so very complicated.” He is no doubt feeling somewhat overextended on the retail side with over 230 locations worldwide.