The ever growing influence of diamond trade
CPP-LUXURY.COM has recently interviewed exclusively Chris Del Gatto of CIRCA
You have been in the diamond business since you were 17. What has been the motivation behind your continued passion?
I love to grow businesses and I love to work with beautiful things, so being an entrepreneur in this industry is really perfect for me.
What is the business model of CIRCA, the company you founded in 2001?
We simply are the first luxury brand on the BUY side of the jewellery industry. What that means is anyone can come to a CIRCA office around the world with a diamond, watch or piece of jewellery that they are interested in SELLING and have a truly elegant experience with a renowned expert. That expert will evaluate your item in front of you, in a beautiful environment and make you an offer. Should you choose to accept (which around 76% of people do), you leave with a check. No item is too big or small. We will write a check for a few hundred dollars or millions of dollars in the same day.
Which is your marketing and PR strategy? Which is the profile of your most loyal customer?
We run beautiful ads in many of the major international lifestyle and fashion magazines. We also run in many of the major newspapers globally. Internet marketing, of course, is very important. PR is critical as well, we are very active philanthropically in all of our markets and this often represents very healthy PR opportunities.
CIRCA has offices outside the U.S. What is the turnover ratio of your non-US business?
So far it is no different than our U.S. operations.
To what extent do your offices in the U.S. deal with consumers from emerging markets? (i.e. Latin America)
Our U.S. offices deal with international clientele daily. South America is a very large market for us, as is the Far East.
Which are your direct competitors in the U.S.?
There is not another company that does what we do at anywhere near our scale. If I were forced to say with whom we butt heads on occasion, it would be Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
Have you considered setting up your own jewellery brand? Which do you think are the pre-requisites for a successful high end jewellery brand?
We still have a long way to go, and there are still many compelling opportunities just by being the leading buyer globally from the general public. Until we’ve done that in every market around the world, I’m not really paying attention to much else.
Give us an indication of the evolution of your company’s turnover in the past two years and expectations for 2012?
I’ll tell you 2 things: the first is that we are growing at 40% year over year. By 2015 in diamonds alone, not counting jewelry or watches, we will be buying close to half a billion dollars from the public.
Are you considering expanding in other foreign markets ?
In the next year we plan for open offices in Geneva, Milan and Madrid. We also have plans to expand even farther into Europe, the Far East and Middle East.
Which is the international jeweler you most admire and why?
JAR. He’s an artist.