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WMR - November 2016

Conversation

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

A chat with Paolo Marai, President & CEO of Timex


WE ARE ON THE BRINK OF THE FESTIVE SEASON. WHAT IS THE CURRENT MARKET SCENARIO AND WHAT TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE?

The launch event really represents our major opportunity. We see the the market is a bit stagnant this year. The big portion of the recline is mainly due to China and Hong Kong. So for brands like us with a wider distribution, we feel there is still opportunity. The traditional watchmakers in moment of difficulties tend to stop developing. For a fashion brand like ours, our life is to present new things every year and this will present an advantage to us. We have new automatic movements coming in, and it will revitalize the business. If you have newness you can express much better.

HOW HAS THIS YEAR BEEN FOR VERSACE AND FERRAGAMO WATCHES?

The market is declining and there are several reasons for it. Middle East has been affected by low price of oil. The Mediterranean area is full of conflicts. Russian economy is still-standing. In the US there is a big distribution problem. Amazon and internet sales have taken over. Yet, Ferragamo is doing pretty well and we have double-digit growth. This is due to the fact that we have taken chances in this kind of market. In Europe we are growing. In Middle-East we have a fantastic growth. Versace is not growing at the same level, but we also have Versus under Versace, and that is really booming this year. It is an important gain for us. In fact, Versus is really booming in India.

WHAT PROCESSES DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE FOR ENCOURAGING AND MANAGING INNOVATIONS, IN THIS FAST-CHANGING WORLD OF DESIGN?

We do have an internal structure. We had an acquisition of an external design centre a few years back, which is now the Timex Group Design Centre. We have a team of almost 20 people The big portion of them are in Milano and a part of them in Hong Kong. We started a process seven years back, that we ask the market to give us a specific request. We ask them what we are missing and the retailers give us indications. Twice a year we shuffle all this information with our design team. When you go to people who speak to the end consumer, they have a different vision of the product.

The complete interview is in Watch Market Review - November 2016 on page no. 26 to 29.