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BOND STREET BOOST: Speaking of London retail, some of the big jewelers on Bond Street have begun hiking their prices in order to compensate for the recent — and rapid — deterioration of the pound against the euro. The pound has fallen nearly 20 percent against the euro over the past year, and the jewelers are fighting battles on two fronts: Many of them are taking a hit on margins because they buy their merchandise in euros and sell in pounds. Also, with the pound falling, they risk becoming luxury discounters for customers from the Eurozone shopping in London.
Arnaud Bamberger, managing director, Cartier UK and Ireland, said Cartier has raised its prices twice over the past few months. “We don’t like to increase our prices, but globally our clients need to be able to fly between the continents and not see too much of a disparity, and obviously local taxes have an impact on the end price too,” he told WWD. “We review our prices quarterly, and the weakening of the pound in the last quarter led to a 15 percent increase. With the pound continuing to devalue, we had to increase our prices again in the last few weeks by another 15 percent. However, the prices are still a little lower than mainland Europe.”