Founded in 1827, the sole outlet for MAUBOUSSIN until 2006 was its flagship store in the Place Vendôme. Concentrating on a very small number of wealthy clients including Marlene DIETRICH and the Sultan of BRUNEI, the maison decided to adopt a different strategy when orders from this tiny market began to diminish. Franck Nemarq’s father, Alain, was called in to manage the company. Starting in 2004, the firm sought to reach a new client base composed of independent women who “do not need a man to offer them a piece of jewellery as a trophy”. This marketing strategy is reflected in the ironic ‘subversive’ names given to rings such as Le Vice et la Vertu, Libre et Sensuelle and Ni Naive ni Soumise. Nevertheless the romance of jewellery is still very much present for MAUBOUSSIN. The maison is the number one seller of wedding rings in France: furthermore, such romantic items are accompanied by love poems written by Alain Nemarq himself !
About half the company’s turnover is made with jewellery costing 3,500 euros or less but the emphasis placed on accessible items, has not meant that inaccessible jewellery has been abandoned. Indeed, Franck Nemarq gave an example of loyal Russian clients who have ordered exquisite customised jewellery for over 200,000 euros per item.
MAUBOUSSIN’s ‘democratisation’ of the jewellery sector has been accompanied by large scale advertising campaigns in mass media such as television, the free press, cinema and posters in the Paris Metro, breaking the traditional ‘codes’ of communication for the sector. Today, 17% of turnover is spent on advertising. One of the recent campaigns, visible in the Metro, shows Guadeloupean boxing champion Jean-Marc MORMECK sporting a watch from the range of items aimed at men.
In line with its democratisation strategy, Franck NEMARQ explained that MAUBOUSSIN has left its store on the Place Vendôme to open a new one on the Rue de la Paix. MAUBOUSSIN who has more than 120 freestanding shops in France and in 2008 opened a flagship store on Madison Avenue, New York. MAUBOUSSIN also has franchised outlets in the Middle and Far East.
Despite its fame, the company remains small, family-run and family-owned. Its turnover last year stood at 60 million euros, 80% of which was made on the French market. It is clear that MAUBOUSSIN’s strategy of aiming at a new client base has paid handsome dividends.