After several years of growth, sails of luxury watches began to slow down in 2012; the crisis happened. Mostly due to the anti-corruption law put in place in China preventing “business gifts” and added to the umbrella movement in 2014 which caused a disaffection of Hong Kong by the Chinese (a reduction of 23% according to the Fédération de l’industrie horlogère suisse). Indeed, China represented the first clients of Swiss watches.
In 2015, the situation is better but still bad. The Chinese market is still in a bad position, but the USA are stable and Europe is doing good, France in particular; it remained the fourth biggest watch market. In 2015, turnover in France represented 1,9 billion euros with a growth superior to 10% for watches above 5000€ still thanks to Chinese tourists who keep believing in the Paris myth.
We can also assist today, to an evolution of the market; back in 1960, there was more than 16 000 of sale points, today there are only 3 000, it is partly due to the disaffection of watches in the 70’s but it is also the future. Indeed, TAG Heuer the 3 March 2016, that by 2018, there watches will be sell online. That decision is based on the observation of their current and future customers; in 2015, internet has represented 6,9% of total sails with a growth of 1,5% compared to 2014. Young generations and future customers of luxury watches are already buying everything online, clothes, books etc., why would they not be buying their watches online when they will be 30 years old ?
But is that all ?
The editorial staff of this blog hope not …
Buying a watch is a customer experience; the customer is accompanied all the way through the buying process, advised, and the story of the watch is still important to us. Trying a watch at your wrist for the first time is a unique experience and tradition we would like to be perpetuated.