PARIS — Consumer demand for luxury watches is likely to accelerate in the next six months, especially for pricy and sporty styles, according to a Goldman Sachs survey, which found a record 89 percent of retailers expect a sustained uptick for the category.

The results, the most bullish since the investment firm initiated the survey in 2003, bodes well for the industry as the Baselworld watch and jewelry fair kicked off Thursday for an eight-day run.

Based on responses from 89 international retail groups, representing more than 600 stores, the survey said most of the sales gains were expected to come from enhanced product mixes and higher prices, underlining the pricing power of luxury watch brands. Some 82 percent of respondents expected strong demand for high-end watches. By contrast, the low end is expected to stagnate while "the mid-end stabilizes," the study said.

Retailers said they expected Cartier and Rolex to continue to lead the pack in absolute sales. Omega, in third place, was expected to decelerate slightly, and Tag Heuer retained its fourth-place ranking and strong momentum.

"Gucci remains the brand likeliest to show the largest decline in sales over the next six months, according to 19 percent of respondents," the report noted.

By contrast, retailers expected positive momentum for the Bulgari, Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC brands.

Among listed firms, Compagnie Financière Richemont was expected to show the strongest momentum, the report said. Richemont owns Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Panerai, Montblanc and Dunhill.

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