GENEVA: The leading Swiss luxury watch brand is cautiously optimistic that sales will pick up this year if Chinese tourists return to Europe in large numbers after domestic COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
export to China, main market For watch manufacturers, it declined by 13.6% in 2022 due to Beijing’s zero-coronavirus policy and a surge in infections lifted at the end of the year.
But exports started to rebound in February, according to the Swiss Watch Industry Federation. This is an increase of 8.2% compared to the same period last year.
“China will regain a positive dynamic” at the industry’s annual watches and wonders trade fair in Geneva, where 48 brands such as Rolex, Cartier and Patek Philippe showcased their latest creations, said federation president Jean-Daniel Pacher. said to
With China reopening, many financial analysts have significantly raised growth prospects for the luxury sector as a whole in 2023.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Chinese consumers have saved significantly, with HSBC analysts estimating that the accumulated excess savings over the past three years will reach 6.6 trillion yuan (US$960 billion).
Morgan Stanley analysts projected a 20% increase in luxury goods consumption in China by 2023.
According to US investment bank estimates, luxury goods lovers in China accounted for about 60% of the sector’s growth between 2000 and 2019.
Nearly three-quarters of its spending is made abroad, which represents a windfall for luxury boutiques in Europe.
desire to travel
In other words, Chinese luxury consumers have become more accustomed to buying domestically during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Swiss luxury giant Richemont has taken notice.
“We see people returning to the store with a desire to buy and a desire to travel,” said Cyril Vineron, CEO of Cartier, the flagship brand of the group.