Swiss-based luxury watch brand Patek Philippe is not concerned by reports of industry slow-down in China. They are opening their second store in the nation at the former British consulate in Shanghai. The 13,000 square-foot store will sell timepieces with price tags as high as 1.5 million yuan (US$240,000).
Here’s why the brand remains confident:
1. High price tags don’t scare Chinese consumers because they are looking for quality products they can pass through generations, says Patek Philippe’s president, Thierry Stern.
2. Stern also believes Chinese consumers buy products that they know are exclusive. Because of this, Patek Philippe is taking a “long-term view of this market.” Patek Philippe will not take part in the aggressive expansion that competitors succumb to in China.
3. Patek Philippe is also ensuring the demand for quality timepieces remains steady: the brand is opening a watch repair school in Shanghai. The hope is that a repair service center will follow, which will significantly cut down on the turnaround time for repairs, which currently have to go overseas.
Each year, Patek Philippe sells approximately 55,000 watches globally. About 40 percent of these purchases comes from Chinese consumers, mostly outside of China.
photo credit:patek philippe