Luxury watch brands, such as #AudemarsPiguet, #Omega or #Zenith, are experimenting with pop-up boutiques. This concept can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.
Perpetuity & Temporary
Forever is a familiar concept to mechanical watchmakers in Switzerland, who often boast that their timepieces are built to run in perpetuity.
When it comes to marketing the brands are increasingly turning to pop-up retail experiences, temporary by definition.
Even though many brands have invested millions of dollars in recent years to open their own boutiques, ephemeral retail opportunities have their advantages. Not only do pop-up boutiques allow brands to create a sense of urgency around their products or test the strength of new markets.
“Pop-up store they provide an opportunity to present a product or tell a story in a style or setting that surprises people.”
Raynald Aeschlimann - Omega President and CEO
Omega has two pop-ups—one in Paris, the other in New York City. Audemars Piguet and Zenith also are experimenting with temporary ventures.
Last month, the Le Brassus, Switzerland-based prestige watchmaker announced that it was entering the e-commerce arena for the first time. What made the news remarkable is that it’s doing so in partnership with JD.com, China’s largest online retailer, through a pop-up boutique that will be live through June 8. If successful, the e-commerce model will be implemented outside China
“2018 is a test year for Audemars Piguet in terms of e-commerce.”
François-Henry Bennahmias - Audemars Piguet CEO
With two current pop-up boutiques, Omega is clearly enthusiastic about the concept. Its New York City pop-up, called “Her Time,” opened on Dec. 7, 2017 on Fifth Avenue.
While the brand’s permanent New York boutique stocks all the latest Omega models, the “Her Time” pop-up’s focus is considerably narrower.
“It’s a way of retelling and reinforcing the brand’s story through a display of watches, as opposed to just pictures, or words on a page.”
The Paris pop-up, on the other hand, is devoted exclusively to straps. Opened on March 1, 2018 in the Marais allows customers to order straps through a digital screen. The store will be open through August.
A prime location on Paris’ Place Vendôme is a surefire way to communicate a brand’s prestige.
“There are fantastic watch brands on the square—Rolex and Patek Philippe, for example—but they only have one to two windows to display watches. We have six windows! It’s unique in that sense.”
The watchmaker moved into the space in late November and plans to stay until the end of September.
“Zenith hasn’t developed a real retail strategy,”
Arnaud Vidal, Director Zenith
Zenith does not have a store in Switzerland; it has been closed two years ago. The pop-up provides the brand with an opportunity to introduce itself to local and international clients with a full display of timepieces. The limited-time-only nature of the space adds to the excitement.
The perks of a being a client include specially catered dinners in the boutique—prepared entirely in the downstairs space by a seasoned chef—as well as access to limited editions, including a recent model available in just 23 pieces.
Source: Victoria Gomelsky