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FEATURE: Swiss Watch Group and timepiece logistics

by ASC Staff on Apr 6, 2017


Chavadi MS, chief operating officer, Swiss Watch Group.
Chavadi MS, chief operating officer, Swiss Watch Group.

The watch business is often referred to as being a ‘small’ industry by those in it, not because the multi-billion dollar a year watch sales market is insignificant, but rather because it is dominated by a few key players that control the global market.

Swiss Watch Group, part owned by the LVMH retail goliath, is one of these key players, it controls the majority of the MENA watch market, and has plans to consolidate its position across the luxury accessories sector with its new distribution centre in Dubai South. To be a successful watch company in modern times, a brand often needs help. Brands today are faced with a multitude of complex challenges ranging from getting the right parts from suppliers, to product distribution across many countries, and expensive advertising campaigns that take into account the varied tastes and traditions in dozens of major markets across the world.

This mammoth task is secondary to the even more complex and risky business of designing and producing interesting and appealing timepieces that consumers want. For this reason, since the 1980s and the “quartz crisis” which changed the way traditional watch companies do business, the wrist watch landscape is increasingly populated by “big brands” that are often part of a larger multinational group. Independently owned companies which can compete on an international level with the “big boys” are becoming increasingly rare. Swiss Watch Group offers timepiece brands a solution that has proven extremely popular and it has expanded its portfolio to include three market segments: watches, accessories and eyewear.

“Swiss Watch Group buys the license to major fashion and luxury brands for a specific period, during which we pay royalties based on sales turnover. We conceptualise, design, develop, manufacture and distribute the products,” explains Chavadi MS, chief operating officer, Swiss Watch Group. “We handle different types of brands across different market segments, but most of our business is in watches, which are considered a lifestyle product. We also handle various other accessories, writing instruments, sunglasses, cufflinks, and leather goods. Our luxury line includes Swiss made products from Aigner, Escada, Swiss Military Hanowa and Roamer and our fashion and lifestyle portfolio includes Cerruti 1881, Police, Kenneth Cole, Ted Bakers, Timberland and Gant.”

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