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jerryking : watches   21

China gifts luxury a reprieve
29 April/30 April 2017 | FT Weekend | by Harriet Agnew and Tom Hancock

Chinese consumers, the drivers of global luxury for more than a decade, once travelled overseas to the European fashion capitals of Paris, London and Milan to take advantage of lower prices. Now they are increasingly inclined to spend at home. Last year Chinese consumers made two-thirds of their personal luxury goods purchases domestically, compared with roughly a third in 2013, according to the Boston Consulting Group.
.............In an era of lower growth, brands are trying to adapt to changing consumer demands and the disruption of digital while keeping the creative process at the heart of it. “Creativity and audacity is what allows you to elicit desire [and therefore sales] over the long run, telling a story that people want to discover, chapter after chapter,” says François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering.
......Yet brands can no longer rely on opening lots of new stores to fuel growth. Instead they have to keep costs down, revamp their existing stores to make them more profitable, and seek new customers through avenues like digital.

“The business model of luxury has completely changed,” says Erwan Rambourg, global co-head of consumer and retail at HSBC in New York. “Either brands understand that and make the changes themselves, or they don’t and they leave themselves open to activism or M&A.”
.......Compared with other consumer brands, luxury has been late to the digital party. Phoebe Philo, the then creative director at fashion house Céline, told Vogue in 2013 that “the chicest thing is when you don’t exist on Google”. But that view now looks unsustainable.

Six out of 10 sales are digitally influenced, says BCG, which estimates that online commerce will grow from 7 per cent of the global personal luxury market today to 12 per cent by 2020.

Within digital, the holy grail is so-called omnichannel — the ability to offer a seamless experience to customers that blends digital and bricks-and-mortar stores, and includes initiatives like click-and-collect. “Blending the physical and the digital is the future of the online flagship stores,” says Federico Marchetti, chief executive of the YOOX Net-a-Porter Group.

The emphasis is on the customer experience. Net-a-Porter is launching a same-day delivery service in September for its top clients in London called, “You try, we wait.” Customers will be able to try on their online order at home or in the office while the delivery van waits outside.
......As e-commerce gathers steam and groups collect more and more data on their clients, the next stage is machine learning and artificial intelligence, believes Mr Marchetti. In this vision of the future algorithms will act as virtual shopping assistants, suggesting items that the customer might like, “enabling us to speak to each customer on an individual basis rather than to the whole customer base”, he says.

Luxury brands are also increasingly using blogs, online “influencers” and social media platforms such as Instagram to generate visibility and lure potential buyers.

All of this is happening at a time when the definition of what constitutes luxury is expanding beyond physical possessions to include experiences both as a competitor to, and opportunity for, the traditional houses.

“Luxury brands are now competing with the plastic surgeon and the luxury travel agent,” says Mr Rambourg. “For a similar price you can have a Louis Vuitton handbag, a facelift or a trip to the Maldives.”
....“Our pulse is the Chinese customer,” says LVMH’s Mr Guiony: “It made the sector worse a couple of years ago and it has made it better now. We have to be aware of that. Trees don’t grow to the sky.”
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luxury  brands  China  Chinese  China_rising  consumers  digital_disruption  e-commerce  travel_agents  BCG  growth  LVMH  watches  noughties  Yoox  customer_experience  WeChat  Burberry  digital_influencers  creativity  audacity  storytelling  omnichannel  artificial_intelligence  machine_learning  virtual_assistants  same-day 
may 2017 by jerryking
Shinola’s made-in-America watches coming to Canada - The Globe and Mail
ANDREW SARDONE
Detroit — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 15 2014
watches 
august 2014 by jerryking
A Simpler Time for Men's Watches - WSJ
By CHRISTOPHER TENNANT
Updated July 25, 2014
watches 
july 2014 by jerryking
Gadget-loving men reshaping watch industry - The Globe and Mail
ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Apr. 23 2014
watches  collectibles 
april 2014 by jerryking
For Swatch, It's Time for a Change - WSJ.com
April 9, 2013 | WSJ | By JOHN REVILL.
For Swatch, It's Time for a Change
Big Swiss Watchmaker Pushes to Reduce the Number of Movements, Other Parts It Sells to Rivals

For years, Swatch Group AG UHR.VX 0.00% has supplied its fellow Swiss watchmakers with mechanisms, balance springs and other parts found in mechanical timepieces. The company sells around 70% of the industry's movements, the motor of mechanical watches, the result of a government-permitted monopoly.

Big luxury brands, like Cie. Financière Richemont SA's Cartier and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA's MC.FR +1.69% Tag Heuer, use Swatch components in some of their most exclusive products, allowing them to capture the higher profits that come with finished products.

But Swatch, best known for its playful plastic timepieces, says that is unfair. Two years ago, it asked Switzerland's Competition Commission for permission to decrease the number of movements and other parts it sells to competitors. A decision is expected in coming months.

In 2012, the average movement sold to manufacturers was 116 Swiss francs ($124), according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, while the average export price for a Swiss mechanical watch was 2,222 francs. The average retail price for a watch was around 5,500 francs."We are in a ridiculous situation that would be like having BMW supply all the engines for Audi and Mercedes," says Nick Hayek, Swatch's chief executive and the son of the company's founder. "In no other industry do you have one company supply all the critical parts to the people who then compete directly with it."

Swatch says it is effectively subsidizing the competition by shouldering research-and-development and production costs for the rest of the industry. The company won't totally eliminate its supply of components to other watchmakers, but wants the right to reduce supplies.
watches  Swatch  Switzerland  Swiss 
april 2013 by jerryking
Time Bandit: Nicolas Hayek, CEO of Swatch Group
June 10, 2010 | - WSJ. Magazine - WSJ | By Michael Clerizo
watches  entrepreneur  Nicolas_Hayek  Swatch 
june 2010 by jerryking
How Timex Plans to Upgrade Its Image; Fashion House Deals May Help Watchmaker Break Into New Market
Jun 21, 2007 | Wall Street Journal pg. B.6 | by Stacy
Meichtry. Timex has taken a number of steps upmarket. In October, the
company acquired Vincent Berard SA, a so-called haute horology brand
that produces high-end, limited-edition watches with retail prices that
start at about $13,400.
watches  luxury  branding  ProQuest 
december 2009 by jerryking
Big Book: Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking
DECEMBER 21, 2009 | Wall Street Journal Magazine | by .

“Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking” by Michael Clerizo, 292 pages,
Thames & Hudson, 2009, $85. For more from Michael Clerizo, read
Patek Philipe and A Handmade Tale: Glashutte.
watches  books  book_reviews 
december 2009 by jerryking
The Art of Selling an Expensive Watch - WSJ.com
AUGUST 4, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By CHRISTINA BINKLEY.
Mr. Brücker, a former Xerox salesman, is training IWC Schaffhausen’s
sales force to sell expensive watches in a recession. Mr. Brücker has
come far from his Xerox roots. As chief executive of Pôle Luxe, a
Paris-based luxury-sales consulting group, he lists numerous high-end
brands, including Cie. Financière Richemont, which owns IWC as well as
Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, among his clients. His business is
booming in the recession. He is opening new offices in New York, Hong
Kong and Shanghai. He drives a Ferrari and has 61 luxury watches of his
own, including four IWCs. I observed his training of IWC associates for
two days, watching as Mr. Brücker urged his students to say “value”
rather than “price” and to sell “romance” rather than “products.” ...
"That pesky number is sandwiched between the product’s more romantic
benefits. “We sell luxury—it’s an emotion,” Mr. Brücker instructed."
sales_training  luxury  watches  Christina_Binkley  Richemont  Cartier  fashion  value-conscious  pricing 
december 2009 by jerryking

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