The Chinese luxury market certainly does not lack suitors. The latest luxury brand sweet talking this much coveted market is none other than Harry Winston.
The luxury jewelry and watch retailer gushes about its high regard for China that is distinct from other luxury brands.
“All luxury brands see China as a mass market. We see China as the most exclusive market in the world,” said Chief Executive Frederic de Narp, “Nothing is too big, nothing is too beautiful, nothing is too expensive for Chinese today. They are on a quest for true luxury.”
He indicated that the company’s mission is to “seduce and serve the creme de le creme of China.”
Harry Winston is looking to expand aggressively in lucrative markets like China, Russia and Dubai. But China is its dominant focus. The company, which has one store in Beijing and one in Hong Kong, expects to grow to 10 stores in five years. Plans are underway for two stores to open in Shanghai by the end of the year.
Expansion will take the company from its current 19 stores to 50 store globally in five years. de Narp sees sales growing by at least 15 percent in each of the next five years.
While this iconic brand is known for its diamonds — made famous by Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen prefer Blondes” and its donation of the famous Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington — Harry Winston is hoping to carve out a larger watch business.
Angling to become a bigger player in the watch market, Harry Winston plans to increase watch production from the 3,700 watches it currently sells a year. Watches could be 45 percent of global sales within five years from less than 30 percent currently. Most of the company’s watches are studded with diamond and bought by men according to de Narp.
Another reason to win the mind share of the Chinese, one the biggest and fastest-growing consumers of luxury watches.
photo credit: harry winston