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Qeelin to Double China Stores as Demand Shows No Slowdown

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June 16 (Bloomberg) -- Qeelin, the Hong Kong-based jeweler acquired by Kering SA 18 months ago, plans to at least double its store numbers in mainland China over the next two years as demand in the country shows no sign of slowing.

“The idea is to reach a certain visibility in our core market,” Qeelin Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Brochard said today at a presentation in Paris. Same-store sales are growing at least 10 percent, he said, declining to give more details.

Qeelin, co-founded by Frenchman Brochard and Chinese designer Dennis Chan in 2004, has 12 outlets in China, seven in Hong Kong and two in Europe. Kering bought a majority stake in the maker of 2,380-euro ($3,222) gold rings and 107,600-euro diamond encrusted watches in December 2012.

Kering is seeking to develop its jewelry offer as sales of necklaces, bracelets and other trinkets grow faster than other luxury products and demand for its Gucci leather-goods brand fades. After acquiring Milan-based Pomellato last year, Kering may add to its jewelry portfolio, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli has predicted, identifying De Grisogono, Damiani and Buccellati as potential targets. Kering also owns Boucheron.

Qeelin plans to expand its range of fine jewelry priced from 50,000 euros to 500,000 euros, Brochard said. The push is designed to boost the brand’s profile as well as sales, he said. The average price of a Qeelin product is about 4,000 euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net Paul Jarvis, Tom Lavell

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