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Our Vision - April 2018

Time and Tide

VERSACE AND SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

A CHAT WITH PAOLO MARAI, PRESIDENT & CEO OF TIMEX


How was 2017 for Versace and Ferragamo watches?

The global market was a bit negative during the first half of the year and then it started to recover. It is only in the last two months of the year that we got some positive signs globally, in terms of the market. For the company, the first semester was quite positive and then it stabilized in the second part of the year. I believe that somehow when you talk about the luxury sector and luxury fashion brands, there is a kind of inverted cycle. When the market goes down, traditional watches go down more than the fashion watches and then when the market goes up, traditional watches grow faster than fashion watches. Coming to specific areas, performance in Dubai was not very satisfactory. 2017 was good for India, though it is not yet at a level we would expect the market to be. We have been pushing on India, as compared to China. Firstly, in India, there is a consumer for luxury. For example, people buy gold. Then, there are many stores selling luxury products. In China, you have to have
your own mono-brand stores which could be expensive. I was pushing hard on India which was quite successful in the beginning.

We have had quite a few upheavals in the Indian market with the demonetization and the GST implementation. What impact did it have?

As with all big changes, there is an initial impact on the market. Even before the impact is felt, people are already talking about the impact. The changes come, and these days more frequently…but people get used to it. It is important to align with the market.

The complete interview is in Hours & Minutes on pg no. 10 in the April 2018 edition.