The battle continues in 2017, but we are seeing more sales to a younger demographic. We want to focus on expanding our customer base. We need to not only sell things, but also to offer a space where customers can enjoy not only the watch they have bought, but also the time they spend there. The watch retailing industry should be more flexible, and I think that ideas such as providing social experiences are particularly important. Customers are becoming more cautious when buying watches. After repeated preliminary inspections and comparisons with other stores, they spend time before buying. And in the field of luxury watches, I think that the importance of touching a watch and receiving advice will continue to increase.
I do not believe there is a great conflict, in pricing terms, between online retailers and the products we stock in our stores. In our store, the mid-range pieces we sell are mechanical watches starting at around 10,000 US dollars. Most customers in this price range generally handle and try on the watches; they like to evaluate them with their own eyes before buying. For the same reason, I think that brand after- sales service should disclose more information. They should clearly indicate specific exchange parts and repair parts etc. That leads to a relationship of trust with customers. Breitling is amazing in this respect.
In Japan, there is a tendency to emphasise the expected value of after-maintenance guarantees and the relationship of trust with store clerks when buying luxury watches. That’s why the grey market hasn’t had such a great influence. On the contrary, the resale market is enjoying sound growth.”
Name: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store
Launch date: 1904
Category: High-range and middle-range
Brands represented: Patek Philippe, A.Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Cartier, Breitling, Omega, Franck Muller, IWC, Harry Winston, Girard-Perregaux, Zenith, Moritz Grossmann, Longines, de Grisogono, Rolex, Piaget, Seiko, Citizen, Minase, Century, Backes & Strauss