Case Study

Swarovski: How to shine through stormy weather?

15 pages
January 2023
Reference: IMD-7-2430

It was on Monday. 4 July 2022, when Swarovski’s newly appointed, first-ever external CEO, Alexis Nasard, began his challenging journey of guiding the company back to a profitable growth trajectory. In past years, Swarovski experienced strong market growth and share gains from its well-established position in the costume jewelry segment. However, the company had started to face competition within the jewelry market and rampant digitalization trends threatened to weaken the company’s stronghold on mid-range luxury jewelry and grand physical stores. In response, Robert Buchbauer, who had previously taken over the management of Swarovski as CEO in April 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, told a news agency at the company’s headquarters, “We are forced to reimagine and rescale our entire Swarovski business.” However, Buchbauer’s vision for the company’s growth was not well-received by Swarovski’s family board members. Just 18 months after his appointment, he resigned from his role due to differences with the family. On Friday 22 July 2022, after just two weeks as Swarovski’s newly appointed CEO, Nasard was reflecting on the journey ahead as he left the company’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria. He knew he had important choices to make to get the company back on track. Building on the company’s unique strengths and learning from the difficulties faced in the recent past, he pondered, which strategic initiatives should he prioritize to restore Swarovski back to its former glory?

Learning Objective
  • Analyze how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a jewelry company like Swarovski
  • Evaluate the competitive landscape between Swarovski and other players in the jewelry sector
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of Swarovski, as well as the opportunities and threats the company could encounter in the future
  • Examine the role of digitalization in Swarovski’s operations
  • Discuss strategies for Swarovski to enhance its brand image with a focus on profitability and resilience.
Disruption, Global Business, Retail, Luxury, COVID-19
Global, Austria
Swarovski, Consumer Goods, Luxury Goods and Jewelry
Published Sources
© 2023
Available Languages
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Teaching note
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