Despite the pandemic, the Italian-Swiss company Panerai is optimistic for the current financial year and is continuing to develop its network of boutiques in parallel with e-commerce. Indeed, it has opened around twenty boutiques around the world in the last 12 months.
“Despite the pandemic, we have opened 20 new boutiques around the world in the last 12 months,” Jean-Marc Pontroué, the managing director, told AWP on the sidelines of the Watches and Wonders Geneva digital watch fair, which ended on Tuesday.
The watchmaker, a subsidiary of Richemont, has 152 boutiques worldwide, as well as 450 points of sale managed by retailers.
“One third of our distribution network is in China,” he added.
The company also intends to continue its expansion in the coming months, in parallel with online sales, which were practically non-existent a few years ago.
“We now cover more than half of our markets with e-commerce,” said Jean-Marc Pontroué.
However, Pontroué noted that there was still “turbulence”, even if the worst was over. “If we were in a plane, we would still have to keep our seatbelts fastened”, said the manager, while pointing out that the brand’s key markets, the United States and China, were currently experiencing a good dynamic.
He also noted that Panerai’s turnover in 2020 had contracted less than the Swiss watch industry’s exports (-22%), a key indicator of the sector’s health.
Regarding Watch & Wonders Geneva 2021, which has just ended, he said that this edition had been a “superb experience that he was not keen to repeat” next year as this would mean that Covid-19 would still be a cause for concern.
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