During an interview with Blick newspaper, Swatch Group’s CEO, Nick Hayek, discussed the ongoing challenges faced by the global watchmaker due to the coronavirus outbreak. Hayek revealed that sales at the company’s stores in China have experienced a notable increase of almost 24% in April compared to the same period last year. This surprising growth in China, where the crisis seems to be under control, provided a glimmer of hope for the watchmaker. However, Hayek also highlighted the difficulties faced in other parts of the world, where almost all of Swatch Group’s stores are currently closed.

The impact of the global pandemic on the retail industry has been immense, and Swatch Group has not been immune to these challenges. With stores closed in many countries and consumers reducing their spending, the company is navigating a challenging landscape. In light of this, the positive performance in China’s market serves as a potential indicator of recovery in the months to come.

Hayek mentioned the significant difference in communication regarding sales data that he receives from the company’s stores worldwide. While he used to receive around 60 to 70 emails, he now only receives three or four. This stark contrast emphasizes the impact of the pandemic on the global retail industry.

As the situation surrounding the coronavirus continues to evolve, companies like Swatch Group must adapt and find innovative ways to navigate through these challenging times. The closure of physical stores and reduced foot traffic necessitates a shift toward online sales and digital platforms. These channels may prove crucial in reaching customers and generating revenue until the situation stabilizes.

The CEO’s remarks shed light on the state of the luxury watch industry, highlighting the contrasting situations between China and the rest of the world. It serves as a reminder of the global nature of the pandemic and its far-reaching impact on various sectors.

While the timeline for the full recovery of the global watch industry remains uncertain, companies such as Swatch Group will rely on their resilience and adaptability to weather the storm. Monitoring market trends and consumer behavior closely will be crucial for luxury businesses to make informed decisions and strategize effectively for the future.

Useful links:
Blick newspaper article
Swatch Group website