Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Maurice Lacroix has joined the small group of kaputtniks who have opted not to participate in a traditional, large fair this year.

Again, my gut is telling me that this is not a reaction to what they may (or may not) feel is a poorly run fair.  Maurice Lacroix always had a good sized booth, and "drinky-night" was every night.  But I also know that sales have been iffy for some time, a few different heads of North American sales & distribution have been through the turnstile, and DKSH (their parent company) had been looking to offload them along with Glycine for quite some time.  Sort of like the local appliance store's "semi-annual" going out of business sale, only trying to sell a brand worth (according to the sellers) a whole bunch of money.

Unlike some of the other commentators out there who have been quoted with such bon mots as:

"If I don't get business class and a 4 star room IN BASEL?  I'm not going!"

Well, some of us are not quite so precious, so unless we get down to 10 brands in hall 1, I will certainly be there.

There are going to be brands who bow out - and if I am being blunt, these are brands that had a LOT of opportunities to make economies elsewhere (say, not sponsoring that yacht, for example), but refused to do it.  And now it's time to pay the piper. 

And for those who are believing the pundits who are crowing about increased export numbers and how that MUST mean that sales are up?  Walk into a Tourneau, or pretty much any other watch retailer.  Sales do not match the exports, which means the exports will continue to prop-up the grey market, which means that Touch of Modern will continue to do a brisk trade, which means that retailers will continue to feel the pinch, which means that they will look to other, smaller and/or unique brands to gain back customer share.  Which seems only fair as the big dogs are kind of sticking it to them right now.

So we shall see, but not to worry, there are plenty of other brands out there ready to take some space in BaselWorld.

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