Watches of Switzerland opts for appointment-only reopenings
Watches of Switzerland will reopen its English stores on Monday with social distancing and hygiene measures in place. So far, so expected. But the luxury watch specialist, has announced that visitors to Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths showrooms will be accommodated on a by-appointment-only basis.
The appointments will see clients being invited to contact their nearest showroom to arrange a time or to use the enquiry form online, although there will also be a number of walk-in appointments available each day.
It has already reopened all of its Mayors showrooms in the US and Watches of Switzerland showrooms in Las Vegas and its showrooms in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and UK airports are expected to open later.
The appointments strategy is an interesting approach given that the company would be likely to have less of a social distancing and hygiene issue than many other retailers, such as those offering lower-priced fashion items. But it certainly suits the air of exclusivity around its high-priced products.
The company said: “This system has been designed to help manage in-store footfall and to ensure the safety and comfort of group colleagues and clients at all times. Each showroom will have a maximum occupancy level, determined by the size of the showroom and the number of colleagues available to serve clients.”
CDEO Brian Duffy added that the lockdown “has had a significant impact on our business. This period has presented us with challenges, but also opportunities. We’ve seen significant growth in our e-commerce business, which saw an 82.8% year-on-year increase in April and for the first time offers clients pieces from some of our high-end brand partners, including Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
“Our teams around the country have also been able to deepen their relationships with our VIP clients using tools such as Zoom to stay in touch, show product and arrange for watches to be delivered directly to them. We are confident that as we gradually reopen our network, we are well positioned to drive the business forward and emerge even stronger.”
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