Support Your Independent, Authorized Retailer

— I have great respect for the ones who can succeed, staying open year after year – they are rare treasures, indeed.

Daniel Ceballos' storefront in Mexico

I have a tremendous amount of respect for independent, authorized retailers. They face tough challenges, and in many ways the deck is stacked against them.

First off is the high cost of doing business. The best brands want to be in the best locations, so independent retailers who want to succeed have to be in the right part of town like Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, Geneva’s Rue du Rhone, Tokyo’s Ginza and Shanghai’s Nanjing Road, — some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. Once they have the store space, the store environment has to match the level of the brands carried, which isn’t cheap either. Then, the stores have to buy the product, a significant investment with no guarantee of a return. Finally, factor in the overheads — rent, staff salaries, utilities, training and more. The cost of all this is astronomical, putting a huge burden on retailers to do just about anything they can to turn a profit.

The Kirchhofer boutique in Interlaken, Switzerland

The Kirchhofer boutique in Interlaken, Switzerland. DR

It’s not easy to keep up with all that is going on within the watch industry. There are new brands, watches, partnerships, initiatives and much more. Trying to keep it all straight is very hard, while communicating this to the sales staff is yet another challenge.
In addition, each independent retailer has a stable of brands to support, with all their programs and events. Every brand they carry puts pressure on the retailers to focus on their product, promote their Omega replica watches and… SELL.
Moreover, these stores don’t exist in a vacuum. There is direct competition from other watch retailers, both at home and abroad, brick and mortar and on-line, as well as indirect competition from every other discretionary spending category — such as vacations, cars, clothing, accessories and entertainment, to name but a few. All of these compete for the same portion of the dollar as Swiss Replica Watches retailers do.
Add to this the internet sellers, peddling non-authorized watches, grey market goods, counterfeits and second-hand Replica Watches UKat significant discounts compared to authorized retailers.

Levinson Jewelers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. DR

Honestly, being an independent, authorized retailer is a minefield today. I have great respect for the ones who can succeed, staying open year after year – they are rare treasures, indeed.
I recently talked to an independent retailer in Nigeria, whose biggest competition is “suitcase sellers”, people who go door to door with suitcases filled with watches. These can be new, used, grey market, counterfeit or stolen pieces — there is no way to know. But, these salesmen have been selling successfully in Nigeria for decades. This retailer, Zakaa, who currently has three stores, is trying to change the purchasing culture, with a great deal of success so far.
A growing trend I have talked about in a previous Rant is the threat of the brand boutiques competing directly with the independent retailer. Many retailers who have been carrying Brand X for decades get closed by these same brands when they open their boutiques.

Les Ambassadeurs boutique in Geneva, Switzerland. DR

In order to gain an advantage in today’s increasingly competitive watch world, some retailers have decided to focus on new, independent brands with interesting, creative products. This isn’t without risk, as some of these new brands don’t succeed despite everyone’s best efforts and go out of business, leaving the independent retailer holding the bag. Imagine trying to sell Replica Watches when the customers know that the company is out of business!
In general, independent, authorized retailers around the world are passionate about watches, and they have such a difficult task staying afloat that they truly deserve the support of watch lovers. Without the independent retailer, the UK Replica Watches landscape would be barren, indeed, so when you have the chance, please support your friendly, local, authorized retailer.