Richemont makes yet another move in Swiss watches
Ricehmont has been talking about Swiss watches a lot lately. Most recently, it bought used-luxury watch online reseller Watchfinder – now, it’s continuing to shore up its position in the industry that it’s convinced is returning to growth.
Richemont’s brand IWC, which is known for its Pilot’s watches and the Da Vinci and Portugieser collections, has inaugurated a new manufacturing site in Schaffhausen (its home town) and picked up the pace on ecommerce. Why? Because it says it wants to guarantee it can keep up with demand for its timepieces.
Richemont’s share price has appreciated by 8% in the last 6 months
Source: Yahoo Finance
Christoph Grainger-Herr, who was appointed as the brand’s CEO last year, was keen to point out that the brand’s confidence was well founded. He told reporters on Monday:
“We are very optimistic, you can see that in Swiss watch export figures. Asia Pacific has recovered and the U.S. also shows a good development.”
He’s right to be positive. According to Reuters, Swiss watch exports rose by 10% in the first seven months of 2018, seeing a massive 29% increase in what is traditionally their number one market: Hong Kong.
IWC has spent $42.2 million on the construction of its new site. Currently, that site is staffed by 238 people, but it has capacity for 400.
In addition to the new site, the brand has also invested in its ecommerce showing, and plans to expand its online boutique to all of Europe next month. It launched in the U.S. last year. Grainger-Herr says: “The U.S. and the United Kingdom are generally more open to ecommerce.”
But it’s not all online. As the brand approaches its 150th birthday, it says it will add between five and ten new brick-and-mortar stores per year.
Dominion holds Richemont, the parent company of IWC in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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