Richemont pushes into second-hand luxury watch market
Luxury titan Richemont is making moves to capture part of the second-hand luxury watch market. The company has acquired online and shop-based company Watchfinder for an undisclosed sum. It’s the latest step in Richemont’s ambitious retail expansion, which saw the company move to take full control of online fashion retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) in January.
Richemont’s share price has appreciated by 13% over the last 3 months
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
The UK-based second hand watch shop buys and sells upmarket “pre-owned” watches online, and also operates seven “boutiques” and a customer service center. Although founded in 2002, the company has become more relevant in the first six months of 2018, as the second hand luxury market has seen growth skyrocket.
For a long time, the big names in traditional luxury avoided second hand resellers. They were wary of ceding too much growth to third parties, and lowering the brand value of their primary market. However, there’s only so long brands can ignore fast-growth markets. And many of the big names (LVMH, for example) are now finding ways in.
Watch sellers that ignore pre-owned goods might be missing out on even more than their luxury peers. Analysts at Berenberg suggested that “greater than average” markdowns on timepieces could make them a particularly attractive proposition for buyers looking to get the most for their money.
Richemont said, in a statement: "Together with YOOX NET-A-PORTER and our stake in Swiss duty free company Dufry, the acquisition of Watchfinder is another step in Richemont’s strategy."
Richemont’s chairman, the brains behind the company’s retail expansion, commented that the pre-owned market was “still a relatively unstructured segment” of the industry. He added: “We believe that are substantial opportunities to help grow the company further.”
Dominion holds Richemont in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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