Three questions about Chow Tai Fook’s purchase of Hearts On Fire

Rob Bates

Having spoken to several sources and observers about Chow Tai Fook’s purchase of Hearts On Fire, most agree on two things: This is a great deal for Hearts On Fire. And not such a great one for Forevermark.

Of course, Forevermark isn’t part of this deal. But as the other major loose-diamond brand out there, its name keeps coming up. We’ll get to why in a second, but here are my three main questions about the sale.

What will happen to Hearts On Fire in the United States?

This purchase, most sources agree, is all about China, where Chow Tai Fook plans to turn Hearts On Fire into a “household name”, in the words of CTF managing director Kent Wong. And with more than 2,000 stores throughout China, Hong Kong, and Macau, it might do just that.

Still, HOF will continue to be sold in the rest of the world, and Wong’s company aims to “make [Hearts On Fire] an even bigger success in existing markets. Here in the U.S., CEO Glenn Rothman expects significant new investments from his deep-pocketed new owner, which might lead to more staff, more marketing, and maybe even an expansion of its office space.

Which brings us to Forevermark. In recent years, that De Beers brand has overshadowed Hearts On Fire at events such as the AGS Conclave. While the two brands have different positioning, many do see them as competitors, and there is a sense in the market that Forevermark’s prominence, aggressiveness, and heavy marketing spend has hurt its rival.

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Source JCK Online