Brand Boutiques - PROS AND CONS: Thomas Morf

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August 2013

Watch brands of all sizes continue to open up monobrand boutiques around the world. Europa Star investigates this trend and talks to opinion leaders on both sides of the issue.

Thomas Morf:

“Brands are tired of being seen somewhere in a window or a shelf not being promoted the right way. In their own environment, they can convey the image they want. And last but not least, they can control pricing and make more margin.

Thomas Morf
Thomas Morf

“Of course PR and brand awareness play an important role when deciding for a boutique. I’m sure many brands that have boutiques don’t generate enough turnover to cover their costs. Boutiques around the world make brands look bigger than they really are.

“Retailers tend to overreact when a boutique is opening on their home turf. They should see it as a chance and do a better job, provide a better service to your customers. Competition makes you stay hungry and customer oriented. Finally the customer buys where he’s being treated with respect and feels welcomed. Don’t forget, a multi-brand store can still play with the advantage to guide the customer to another brand.

“Big brands who can afford it will definitely go towards boutiques. I call it the Louis Vuitton strategy – fewer points of sale and in first-tier cities around the world. The brand is not going where the customer is, the customer is going to have to go where the brand is available.

“Independent, multi-brand retailers are a must. Think of it, how boring would it be if only monobrand boutiques would be there. An independent retailer has a great opportunity to carry interesting niche brands, which sets him apart from his competition. If he’s doing a good job, he can promote a brand to his customers and make even more margin. Not every customer wants to see only one brand while shopping. He wants to compare products. This can only be done with independent retailers.”

Brand Boutiques - Pros and Cons


Patrik Hoffmann, president, Ulysse Nardin

Larry Pettinelli, president, Patek Philippe North America

Ehren Bragg, Managing Director, Devon

Marc Gläser, president, Maurice Lacroix

Greg Simonian, president of Westime (Los Angeles, USA)

Ayman Nassif, president, BTC (Egypt)

Jeremy Oster, co-owner, Oster Jewelers (Colorado, USA)

Alon Ben Joseph, CEO, Ace Jewelers Group (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Source: Europa Star August - September 2013 Magazine Issue