Richemont is one of the big names in the watch industry, owning brands like Alfred Dunhill, A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Chloé, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Piaget, plus Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Their latest financials show sales at £12.4 billion for the year to March 31, while net profit fell 34 percent to £813 million. Still pretty decent some might say, although Richemont noted that sales overall fell 18 percent Jan-March 2020, mainly down to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of course Richemont now have to try and build up sales in person again, via its network of franchised dealers across the world. That could be difficult for the rest of this year, depending on whether Corona returns and causes another lockdown in key markets in November/December.
On the upside, Richemont owns Watchfinder.co.uk, which they bought back in 2018, so the switch to selling luxury watches online should gather speed. The only hurdle for many collectors is getting a fair PX price for their luxury watch online. The process of separating fakes from real Cartier, Breitling, Rolex or Patek models is very tricky, and requires lots of staff training plus a physical examination of the watch and paperwork at some stage.
Challenges ahead for sure. Not just for Richemont either.