Ups and downs are brought by Rolex in the world of luxury watches With the acquisition of Buchererinitiating the agreement that It gives the Swiss brand a major retail presence for the first time.
In a move that could have long-term consequences for its retail rivals, the largest manufacturer luxury watches in the world will It now owns more than 100 Bucherer stores worldwide.
Although the stores will continue to operate independently, keeping the Bucherer name and selling other watch brands, the move has raised concerns among investors. For possible pressure supply in other stores. Shares in Switzerland Watch Group, the largest Rolex dealer in the UK, They have lost more than a quarter of their value on the news.
The purchase is a logical step for the two companies, which have had a very close relationship since 1924, according to Vontobel analyst Jean-Philippe Bertchy, who estimated that Bucherer The value of the project is about 4 billion Swiss francs ($4.5 billion). The companies did not disclose financial terms.
Rolex has announced that the decision to buy Bucherer was made after the family that controls the department store chain decided to sell and confirmed that relationships with existing retail partners would not change. However, it indicates A strategic shift for the largest Swiss watch brandwhich has long made clear that it will not sell its watches directly to consumers.
Currently, there is only one boutique in the world owned and operated by Rolex, and that is the one in Geneva. The deal with Bucherer would open the brand a direct line to its customers and more control and oversight over the distribution and pricing of pre-owned watches.
Rolex entered the used watch market last year with a surprising move to certify its pre-owned watches through retailers like Bucherer.
Ion Cox, head of Swiss equity at Kepler Chevro, said Rolex’s move into retail could have ramifications beyond listed sellers such as Watches of Switzerland and The Hour Glass in Singapore.
“At first glance, this comes as a shock to all other Official Rolex Dealers because Rolex has always said that it is committed to independent retail distribution and has no desire to build its own retail network,” said Cox.
Demand for the most popular Rolex models, such as the Daytona, GMT and Submariner watches, far outstrips supply. Although the company manufactures more than one million watches annually and has sales of more than 9 billion francsn.
Customers at authorized dealerships are placed on waiting lists that can wait months or even years for the most sought-after models.
Get Bucherer signals The second major change in Rolex’s retail strategy in less than a year.
Rolex watches dominate the used watch market, accounting for the largest number of watches sold and bought by value of any other brand.
Invading the retail market and making Rolex and sister brand Tudor more available at lower prices in stores is a “game-changer”, said Olivier Mueller, president of Swiss-based LuxeConsult.
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