Luxury timepieces are set to see the steepest drop in sales of personal luxury in 2020. Like experiential luxury, the category has been hit hard by the shutdown of travel as a result of the virus.
The closure of non-essential retail outlets between March and May, and the subsequent reluctance of many consumers to return to physical stores has also hit sales of luxury timepieces hard. For many buyers, part of buying a luxury timepiece is the whole retail experience, which can be drawn out over several months from making an order to finally holding the item.
Several key brands have seen their business activities heavily disrupted in 2020. The first half of 2020 saw the virtual absence of marketing campaigns and product releases, with brand operators hoping for a relaxation of restrictions before committing to these strategies.
Sales of luxury timepieces are set to return to growth in 2021, although volume sales will fail to reach pre-pandemic levels before the end of the forecast period. International expenditure is a vital component to sales of luxury timepieces, and its recovery is fundamental to the sector.
The pandemic is also creating a new normal, where some consumers that have switched to online will be lost permanently. Most importantly, this will see international consumers buying from online providers in their home countries.
The upheaval to the timepieces industry as a result of the pandemic looks set to change its shape in the long term. Even with the news of a potential vaccine and rising hopes of inbound tourists as a result, there has already been an announcement that Baselworld, which was postponed from 2020 to the end of January 2021 will be cancelled again, with further updates to come of a complete revamp for summer 2021.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Luxury Timepieces industry in Switzerland 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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