When watchmakers face the mirror every morning and think about ‘China, China, China …’ while shaving, there is a brand that can use China as a mirror. For more than fifty years (from 1959 to the present) on this land, the brand has now taken root in this vast country. Therefore, Daniel Schluep, who represents the third generation of the plum watch family, has a special perception of the current obsession with China. He has been here for more than thirty years and knows the country well.
Speaking of his long-term partner in Hong Kong, which is also a third-generation managed family business, Schluep said ‘they have known each other for too long.’
Each of them owns 50% of the shares, owns an import company in Shenzhen, four branches (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Changchun), eleven boutiques (four of which are directly owned), and a total of More than 700 points of sale, of which 450 are plum shop stores in stores. Approximately 160,000 plum watches are sold through these channels each year, but Daniel Schluep believes that “a 100,000 increase in sales in 2011 is not a problem!”
‘This is a good thing for Torx.’ Contrary to what many people think, Daniel Schluep has a positive attitude towards new competitors competing to enter the Chinese market. He is not worried that the influx of brands will compete with himself on this battlefield. Quite the opposite. He believed that ‘this is a good thing for plum watches.’ He went on to explain that ‘seven years ago, China did not have a ‘luxury’ structure at all. The opening of the market has changed the traditional approach, and now it can be more professional, planned and Work in an efficient way. In the past seven years, we have also strengthened our image and branding process. With the arrival of luxury goods such as high-end watches, high-priced watches have begun to appear, and the entire market has witnessed watch-level Gradually improving. This period also witnessed the increase in customer understanding and knowledge of watches. All this has brought us benefits. Imagine that ten years ago, it was impossible to sell watches certified by the COSC Observatory in China. No one was right It’s interested. Today, 10% of our products are certified by COSC. Believe me, Chinese consumers attach great importance to this. After returning home, he will patiently check the accuracy of his watch. He will participate in the online chat room. Communication. And if he is not satisfied, he will come back without any hesitation to let us know. ‘
However, although Daniel Schluep is satisfied with the current excitement and activities, he also knows how to distinguish the effectiveness of marketing from reality. ‘Although all products are sold in all grades in China. However, despite the effect of marketing, there are still many brands that are simply adding inventory. Because of this, we are more vigilant and closely control sales, from store to store, From window to window, from week to week. We know exactly what we sell and where we sell. Our eighty employees have been working in the field. I can assure you that our organization has a steel will … .. ‘He opened a large binder showing record keeping, pictures and sales figures, decoration and service quality at all points of sale in China.
When browsing the binders, it is easy to understand that Plum Watch has patiently established a network throughout China, and even second-tier cities have not been ignored. It even covers remote Tibet and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regions, not to mention Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam with Taiwan and many Chinese.
A very classic market
We asked, from a style perspective, what has changed in the liberalization of the watch and gold market in China. ‘Plum blossom watches will still be a classic brand, with nine distinct product lines, eight of which are automatic watches, and the remaining one is a unique female quartz series. In the near future, we will reduce to seven Targeted lines continue to maintain our classic direction.
You know, we can’t trust all marketing propaganda. In my opinion, the current demand for luxury goods mainly comes from trade itself, although a Chinese billionaire will buy luxury watches. However, the business foundation of the Chinese market is still very classic, even very classic. Chinese consumers like serious Swiss watches that are durable and precise. His three main criteria are: quality, quality, or quality. And he wants impeccable after-sales service. The name of the brand is secondary, and this is our guiding idea. ‘
Obviously, Daniel Schluep is not worried about intensifying competition, at least in the medium term. ‘China is so huge and has plenty of room in the medium term. It seems difficult to say now in the long run, but in the current situation, I believe the biggest winner will be the Swatch Group. Once relaxed, our Part of the market share will be seized by the Swatch Group, because it is the only rival with quality and similar lines and brands in all aspects, with prices ranging from 600 to 1,500 Swiss francs, with an average price of about 1,000 Swiss francs. Our most The expensive watch is an automatic watch with a gold case and it sells for CHF 12,000. ‘
Torx table, a unique case
Schluep went on to say, ‘You know, Torx is considered a unique case. We are special, we have our own unique path, discreet and reasonable. We are completely independent, in good condition, and close to our distributors. In Within a few years, the fourth generation of the Schluep family will be on the starting line. I have full confidence in our future, but at the same time I know the risks. The only limit to our development is the dependence on others on the movement.
Ninety percent of our products use ETA-made movements, and we have a good relationship with them. There is no viable alternative to our products in Switzerland. So we must, like many others, actively consider developing our own movement. Although it takes a lot of time and energy, we have to do it. To paraphrase Nicolas Hayek, ‘money is to me like painting to painter. ‘I think‘a movement is like a painting to a painter for a plum watch. Without a movement, there would be no clock.’”