In a move that seems all too familiar in the modern world of watches, AP is now moving to take all sales efforts in house. As per Reuters:
ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet wants to totally control the distribution of its luxury watches, cutting out third-party multibrand retailers, within three to five years, its head told Reuters, adding the integration would boost sales. “We’ll accelerate the consolidation process to arrive at a totally integrated retail network,” Chief Executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias said in reply to emailed questions. “That should happen within three to five years.”
This news follows a few months after Audemars Piguet stated earlier this year that it would bet big on a second-hand business. With this latest newsupdate, 2018 is proving to be a pivotal year for their Go-to-market strategy. Reuters provides additional insight in the current market & its future:
Third-party multibrand retailers are still the dominant sales channel for Swiss watches, but that is bound to change.
“By 2023, we estimate that around 27 percent of Swiss watches, in value terms, will be sold directly by watch brands versus around 9 percent today,” Morgan Stanley said in a report.
This of course is not great news for the retailers around the globe. This move will add more pressure to the familiar multi brand retailers which are already in turbulent waters. Bennhamias further mentioned that AP may also consider acquiring retailers down the road.