Tuesday, April 21, 2020

“Desperation: it's the world's worst cologne.”

Those bon mots were delivered by Debbie Hunt (at least as her thought) as played by Sheila Kelley in seminal 1992 film Singles.
Movie Poster (Warner Bros. 2009)
The export numbers suck, but honestly?  The real numbers have been iffy at best for quite some time now.  As a quick reminder to those of you playing at home - exports do not equal watches sold.
Courtesy of the FH
With COVID-19 and the inevitable shutdown of most factories, in some ways it stands to reason that production and shipping will, inevitably, suffer.

Now curious to relate?  The US, China and Japan are all up.  As the US is home to several not insubstantial grey market outlets, it only makes sense that the US would be up 20.9%.  Please do not kid yourselves, that is not because of some genius plan on the part of brands to sell direct or on the less-than rapid move on the part of retailers to truly leverage their potential.  Everybody is watching and waiting.  Having said that, the land of the free and the home of the grey market is one of the only places that can realistically absorb so much of the brands' stock and push it out the back door to the grey market for a (relatively) quick turn.

And this makes sense given some other very uncomfortable new realities.  A lot of people are out of work here in the US,  and it does not seem likely most people are going to pay "Full Pop" for something that is not 100% necessary at this point.

Another interesting tidbit is that people are still buying watches, simply doing it online.  And as the majority of "normal" retailers did not move as quickly as they could have, a lot of those sales are either "legit" pre-owned and "faux" pre-owned (i.e. new watches sold by brands directly to the grey market but labeled as "pre-owned").

But as we've all got a bit more time on our hands than normal to spin various conspiracy theories.  Stay tuned, because I've got a doozy to air out in our next chat.

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