Jewellery retailer diva to expand in Central Europe

16 May 2013

Australian costume jewellery retailer diva plans to expand its franchised stores in Central Europe, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as part of its five-year European growth plan.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) in Prague supported Australian businesses, diva and Gloria Jean’s coffee shops, at the Franchising Fair in Prague earlier this year.

Igor Bolshakov, Head of Franchise and Concession for diva’s operations in Central and Eastern Europe, said Austrade’s invitation to participate in the trade fair was timely because it dovetailed with the retailer’s European expansion plans.

“The Czech and Slovak markets are very interesting to us from a development perspective,” Mr Bolshakov said.

“There are a few factors there that we see as inviting: sparse competition, strong interest in franchise projects and growing consumption in those markets.”

However, Mr Bolshakov said diva would consider a range of partnership models.

“We’re proposing different types of cooperation with different types of partners: concession, franchising or wholesale.”

He said Austrade support at the exhibition was good for diva because it showcased the retailer as an Australian brand, attracting increased attention.

Costume jewellery retail diva operates more than 570 stores in 20 countries across Australia, as well as Asia, Europe and Southern Africa. In Australia, diva’s ultimate parent is Yoda Holdings, controlled by Australian specialty retail entrepreneur Brett Blundy. Mr Blundy’s businesses also control Sanity music stores and lingerie chain Bras N Things.