Franco Fontana Jewelry, which has been on the Georgian market for more than 10 years, says it has adapted to the reality of the pandemic and managed to offer online sales and new services in just a short period of time.
Company Director Maka Razmadze says that the first coronavirus lockdown in Georgia in the spring of 2020 was particularly challenging because at that time, the company did not have online sales.
However, she says that Franco Fontana ‘did just that’, and adapted to the reality quickly and offered several new services to retain consumers, employees and save the company.
Currently Franco Fontana has seven shops in the capital city and an eighth, premium-class shop also in Tbilisi where only 750 specimen gold, silver and other precious stones jewelry are sold.
“We had plans to open a branch in Batumi. However, due to the pandemic the process has been postponed. However, thanks to our online service we now cover the whole country,” Razmadze stated.
The company currently employs about 50 individuals and ‘has been a symbol of reliability and quality on the market for more than 10 years’, Razmadze says, noting the pandemic has not changed their role and achievements.
“We have been distinguished by our collections which are for every segment. We have always had excellent service and attitude to our consumers. We are widely present in Tbilisi and are very active on social media to make our jewelry available around the country and make people happy. The best team, best collection, best service, best prices and special jewelry are the advantages which make us distinguished from other brands and that is why people choose Franco Fontana,” Razmadze stated.
Q. How much has Franco Fontana contributed to the development of the local market?
A. Our contribution to the development of the market is high. We have introduced Italian gold, laser cut jewelry. It is the merit of Franco Fontana that precious stones, including diamonds, now come with certificates. Franco Fontana managed to raise standards on the market and regulate them.
Q. What were the major challenges you faced as a company in 2020?
A. Our major challenges in 2020 were not to lose consumers due to the pandemic and due to the increased price of gold and to retain personnel. When the pandemic began, we had no online sales. However, we managed to adapt to the situation rapidly. We started selling vouchers which allowed us to pay salaries to our personnel during the whole pandemic period. Soon the price of gold increased. However, through our efforts and discounts, we tried to regulate the price. Initially the launch of online sales and exclusive video calls were also challenging because we received numerous messages online. In short, the first stage was challenging to adapt to the unusual situation created by the pandemic.
Q. What about your marketing activities?
A. We have always actively cooperated with leading marketing channels, starting from television to printed media outlets. We have been taking steps to promote our products, the company image and status with the help of social media. I can say that our efforts worked successfully. Our marketing team has been devoted. Nini Zeqalashvili has been the marketing manager over the past two years, who has recently left the company. We wish her success. It was the big merit of the marketing team that our company survived. We did not have to close any of our shops or cut the number of personnel.