Revenge shopping in China? “Hermès is said to have brought in at least $2.7 million in sales on the reopening day of its flagship store in Guangzhou’s Taikoo Hui last Saturday,” Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reports. The news offers a ray of hope for a watch industry in darkness. If there is a post-Coronageddon sales surge, they can hope for better days. But can they? . . .
Hermès could not immediately be reached to verify the sales figure, but its VIPs documented their shopping foray across Chinese social media, such as Weibo and Xiaohongshu.
Rare bags, including a diamond-studded Himalayan Birkin, were shipped to the location. VIPs from across the Guangdong province, the wealthiest area in China with Guangzhou its capital, descended on the store to purchase tableware, shoes, furniture and leather goods.
The single-day tally, believed to be the highest for a single boutique in China, offers a confidence boost for luxury brands who are eager to get tills ringing again after the coronavirus outbreak.
WWD’s article cites “multiple sources.” But if Hermès didn’t provide the stat, how did reporter/cheerleader Tianwei Zhang come up with the $2.7m figure? Did she really extrapolate the number from social media stunting and flossing? Quick digression . . .
Swiss, German and Japanese watchmakers depend on Communist China to survive. A dictatorship that unleashed the coronavirus on the world, runs concentration camps and butchers political dissidents. Not to mention the fact that Western watchmakers exploit cheap Chinese labor to make timepieces.
Returning to the question of whether or not “revenge shopping” is a thing in China – or will be anywhere else – one unreliable data point does not a verifiable trend make.
Even if we accept that Hermès had a killer day (so to speak), it could well be a short-term surge, followed by a long-term drought. We shall see. Meanwhile, the U.S. watch market is in no danger of a “revenge shopping” spree.
With no clear coronavirus lockdown exit strategy or timetable, watch buyers remain trapped indoors, holding onto their money. Dropping prices are stimulating some transactions, but nothing even remotely resembling the sales volume dealers enjoyed during America’s roaring, pre-Coronageddon economy.
It’s no secret that U.S. watch dealers are growing more desperate by the day. Bob’s Watches feels their pain – and wants their customers. Here’s watchpro.com’s 411 on Bob’s new “partners in time” program – a sinister sounding name if there ever was one:
Bob’s Watches, one of the country’s leading traders of pre-owned luxury watches, has launched an affiliate program that lets watch retailers immediately start selling online.
The California-based business says affiliate partners that are struggling to maintain sales since they have been forced to close their doors can be up and running selling pre-owned Rolexes within a few days with no upfront investment.
Bob’s Watches has more than 500 pre-owned Rolex watches in its inventory today, all of which can effectively be sold by affiliate partners . . .
All referred sales earn 5% commission. Bob’s Watches says its average order value is currently $8,400, from which the affiliated retailer would earn $420. There is a cap on commission of 5% of $1,000 for any transaction, which kicks in at sales above $20,000.
It looks to me like Bob’s “revenge shopping” bricks and mortar watch dealers. If dealers are happy to whore-out their brand for a few crumbs off Bob’s table, things must be bad. And they are. Unless you’re a patient watch buyer watching prices continue to drop.