Where the Comment is King


VOTE  (0)  (0)

The Watch World Is Finally Being Forced to Embrace Ecommerce

Added 11-26-21 07:06:02am EST - “Digital retail came into its own during lockdown, yet amazingly some watch brands still haven't committed to online sales. Now time is running out.” - Wired.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Wired.com: “The Watch World Is Finally Being Forced to Embrace Ecommerce”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The pavements of London’s Bond Street are still quiet. The one-time UK center for international tourists willing to drop huge sums on luxury watches has been reliant on a much smaller native market, with shoppers more likely to search for that one special purchase than splash liberal amounts of cash around.

Despite being concentrated in a specialist niche, the luxury watch world had always been outward-facing, its brand names a language understood wherever you were in the world. But Covid-19 has changed that, perhaps for the long term.

Faced with lockdowns last year, many high-profile brands, including Audemars Piguet, Hermès, and Rolex, halted production altogether to focus on shifting existing stock. Swiss watch exports plummeted.

But a lot can change in a year. In June 2021, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, the industry’s leading trade association, reported that exports were at almost CHF 2 billion ($2.15 billion), exceeding the 2019 baseline by 12.5 percent and representing an increase of 71 percent over June 2020. Richemont Group (whose brands include Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Montblanc) has seen its share price rise significantly. Swatch Group (Omega, Hamilton, Tissot, and more) saw its share price return to pre-pandemic levels. Watches of Switzerland, the UK-based retailer that has expanded into the US market and is listed on the LSE in 2019, is trading at a record high, with its price up 78 percent in the last six months.

It’s not just the usual names that are doing well. The pre-owned market, previously a pariah of the luxury watch world, is booming. One of its biggest players, Chronext, was expected to launch an IPO in October in hopes of raising $247 million but has since postponed these plans, citing unfavorable market conditions. Chronext joins European companies across a range of sectors in putting plans on ice amid volatility in worldwide equity markets, thanks to soaring energy prices and faster-than-expected inflation. Once the company does list, however, rival pre-owned watch marketplace Chrono24 is expected to follow suit.


If you don't see any comments yet, congrats! You get first comment. Be nice and have fun.

Comment Box is loading comments...