TimeVallée Project Consulting Nanjing: Store visit Nanjing - May 2015

18 août 15
“Where times meet”

European luxury brands face a major challenge by expanding worldwide: Adapting to new market opportunities while preserving their prestigious image and quality standards. 

To do so, some Maisons decide to develop themselves through local wholesaler, others do it by opening fully owned retail boutiques. While the first option enables low cost settlement in new markets, the other holds out the prospect in giving the brand full capacity to control its distribution and services offered to the final customer.

In the People’s Republic of China, the Richemont group has decided to implement a hybrid formula through a project named TimeVallée – a pioneering fine watch retail store. 

During our study tour in Shanghai, a small group of volunteers got the opportunity to observe the results of this new pilot operation, in Nanjing, a 2nd tiers city. Through TimeVallée, Richemont managed to mutualize both an easy access to a new unknown market as well as controlling the image of its different brands in a unique point of sale. 

Through such formula, Richemont could create an intimate environment in a mall at the heart of Xinjiekou business district, getting together different brands in an open space, all of them exposing their universes and codes in a harmonious way. So as to lower its expenses, the sales force has been externalized by outsourcing to a local company Chow Tai Fook (CTW watch).

The TimeVallée boutique has made promising results in a few months already. Richemont is sure to open in the upcoming year other “hybrid” points of sale in China and the United Arab Emirates where they see as one of great potential for the future.

 

 

The luxury watch industry has recently being suffering in the past few months. China is no longer a “low hanging fruit” for luxury brands since the anticorruption laws and the recent RMB devaluation slow down the sales. The Swiss Franc has also recently been subject to an historical increase. 

Brands need to be more creative to still be able to expand in promising markets in a most agile and adapted way. 

With the help of TimeVallée, the Richemont group open the era of a new type of distribution channel within the watch market which could probably inspire the entire luxury industry.

by, 

Madeleine WILLAND

Louis BAUDELOT

Alexandre GUILBERT