Within personal luxury, sales of luxury timepieces are set to the hardest hit by the pandemic. Retailers of these products, typically jewellery stores, were shuttered at the start of lockdown, along with other non-essential retail outlets.
Sales of luxury timepieces have less directly impacted by other restrictions. The government has placed a ban on large social gatherings including weddings, parties and baptisms, meaning demand for timepieces bought as gifts has been weakened.
The Romanian economy faces a sharp contraction in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, as much of the economy was shut down in the first half of the year as the government attempted to control infection rates. Unemployment rates rose rapidly in the first half of the year, and although many of these jobs have been regained, consumer confidence has been severely weakened.
Value sales of luxury timepieces are not anticipated to return to pre-pandemic levels in real terms before the end of the forecast period, although unit numbers should have recovered by 2025. The category faces many obstacles to rebuilding itself, the most important of which will be the economic instability that is expected to follow in the wake of the pandemic, and its effect on the aspirational middle-class consumers that helped build sales over the review period before the pandemic.
Sales of smartwatches are set to have a greater impact on sales of luxury timepieces in Romania, although they are still a niche part of the market in 2020. The importance of this trend, however, is the popularity of these products with millennials, who rose as an important consumer group of personal luxury in Romania over the review period, and whose influence will strengthen going forward.
Although the value share of sales of luxury timepieces via e-commerce has more than doubled in 2020, the channel still holds a limited part of these products. This is largely a reflection of the need for consumers to try on these products, their very high price points and the high level of service that luxury specialist retailers offer.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Luxury Timepieces industry in Romania with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Luxury Timepieces research and analysis database.
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