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Crossfor Co. Ltd.
Expanding into Markets beyond Dubai
Dancing Stone creates record selling 8.8 million pieces in just 3.5 years

Hidetaka Dobashi
Chairman-CROSSFOR Co.Ltd.
In an exclusive with Mr. Hidetaka Dobashi, Chairman - Crossfor Co. Ltd. - Japan, The New Jeweller UAE bureau gets inside into the strategy of the company to expand beyond the UAE into the GCC region & a brief on the performance of patented Twinkle Setting that has created a sales record.

  • The UAE is appointed the Kimberley Process Chair for the year 2016. How do you see the Diamond business expanding in the UAE and GCC region in this context?

  • Kimberley Process is a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative in fostering non conflict diamonds transaction since 2003. Since then UAE has become one of the members. The appointment of UAE as the chair of Kimberley Process this year is an official recognition of UAE as a responsible and also crucial stakeholder in the global stage of diamond transaction, in addition to the fact that it is the first Arab country holding such position. We expect Mr. Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the chairperson of the year and UAE will take good care to proceed the project on going, like proactively supporting and further engaging some countries into KPCS. This could bring the mechanism into a more sustainable and beneficial in long run, which represent a healthy structural development, for countries including our own. Focusing more on UAE, KP is an opportunity and initiative offering to UAE for further developing and strengthening its jewellery trading community as a regional hub for diamond exchange. For example, Dubai is now one of the top three diamond trading centres globally. Annual diamond business in the UAE has valued over USD 30 billion, along with Belgium and India.

  • CROSSFOR has been in Dubai for quite sometimes now. How has been your experience in terms of building the company's business?

  • Dubai is one of the fast growing jewellery market, even under the situation of low oil price, with good performance in tourism, construction etc. Huge demand exists on the luxury jewellery market. In 2015, UAE was recorded as one of the top five gold jewelry consumption market.

    Meanwhile it is observed that consumers from Dubai are now getting more mature in these years. Traditionally, larger sized and 22K gold are most famous among the high end consumers. But in recent 2 years, fine jewellery in 18K with some special design are getting more popular. Clients start to seek something more personalized, unique with innovative and creative design. Crossfor has more than three years’ successful Dancing Stone product sales in the USA and Japan market. People from UAE and Middle East know more about our dancing jewellery through travelling and visiting different international jewellery shows. The wide exposure in 2 markets and shows have let them get more aware of Dancing Stone product and increasing demand for this unique jewellery. Although currently we do not have a direct retail or wholesale business in Dubai, many of our factory clients from different shows reflect that they are getting more interested in expanding the dancing stone jewellery market in Dubai and even the Gulf region. Comparing to our authorized licensees which focus their dancing stone market on North America and Asia Pacific, there is a notable increase on the proportion of our licensees on UAE market.

    We are confident that market share in Dubai and Gulf region will be increased in the future, near.

  • What are your expansion plans in the Middle Eastern region in the future? Are you also looking at building your business by appointing Distributors and franchisees?

  • Yes! We are surely looking for any opportunity for the business cooperation in Gulf region, especially cooperating with some local manufacturers and retail chain stores.
    For Crossfor, outside Japan, making business cooperation with licensees (Crossfor authorizes dancing stone production right to scaled manufacturers, and they manufacture their own jewellery using our Crossfor components with our support) and selling our own designed products to the wholesalers are the major ways of our business approach. Currently, Crossfor doesn’t have any direct linked wholesalers or retailers in the Middle East market. But the rapid demand has been reflected in our components sales to the manufacturers focusing on Gulf market, such as Joyalukkas, one of the large chain retailers. For owned design sales, in the HK March Jewellery exhibition we received a higher percentage of quotation and orders request from Middle East Clients. To meet the rapid growing market, we have set up a factory this year in Thailand, to expand our production. It is an important milestone that our innovative jewellery are getting more popular and attract more buyers from Middle East regions. Seeing some unique element in the Middle East market, we are dedicated in developing special and exclusive designs based on the traditional jewellery in the Middle East market, by adding the dancing stone element and passing to our licensees. Such a way of infusing new into tradition has successfully helped Crossfor dancing stone attract more buyers’ attention during various shows. Middle East is one fast growing key market from our view, we wish to widen our business awareness via attending various local jewellery shows. Last year end, our colleagues had visited the Jewellery Arabian Bahrain to get in touch with the local trend. Since 2012, we at Crossfor are investing in Research & Development in the Gulf of jewellery industry to know the market better. Visiting shows in Middle East will keep increasing in upcoming future, which is an important interaction and get closer to the market.

  • Tell us about the Worldwide Patent of the 'Dancing Stone' and 'CROSSFOR' Diamond Jewellery?

  • Crossfor is dedicated to innovating new Jewellery concept. In March 2011, we developed a unique setting technique called TWINKLE Setting®. This setting differentiates itself from any kind of ordinary jewellery since the center stone is placed in a way in which it imitates the movement of a swing. This unique setting can be applied to all jewellery and has developed the name, "Dancing Stone." Crossfor holds worldwide utility and design patent for its Dancing Stone Setting. The first utility patent were granted from Japan in 2013. Also, patents cover Korea, Thailand, USA etc. Since its creation in just 3.5 years, it has surpassed the sales record of 8.8 million pieces of this unique masterpiece.

    Crossfor is now continuing wider global business cooperation with different licensees and wholesalers. Meeting the growing opportunity on dancing stone Jewellery market, Crossfor established a new branch, Crossfor Thailand in 2016, meanwhile we are also planning to initiate more subsidiaries in various regions including Gulf in the near future to support the growing market. We will continue our innovative development and endeavor to give more clients high quality experience in foreseeable future. We are now taking several projects to wider variety on dancing stone technique such as dancing watches, bangles and bracelets, to keep evolving and upgrading to something new.