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"We plan to open 20 new stores by next year": Arun Marc D’Silva

In an exclusive conversation with Arun Marc D’Silva, India Director, Frederique Constant sheds light on growth strategy of the brand.

Tags: Frederique Constant, Rolex, Ethos, luxury

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  December 04, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Arun Marc D’Silva

Frederique Constant is a watch manufacturer based in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland. The company is involved in all stages of watch production, from initial design, to final assembly and quality control. Frederique Constant develops, manufactures, and assembles in-house calibers, 24 different versions since 2004. In India the brand is operating with luxury watch retailer Ethos.

Watch is one of the very popular items for gifting per se? Wedding season is already on so what kind of response the brand is generating especially when luxury segment is suffering short fall due to GST?

We retail by about 50 Ethos retail stores across India. Our products are available in 13 metro cities. GST is the reality. One thing must understand that GST has not impacted price, so anybody who says that because the GST the sales are drown, cannot be taken for because MRP of the item has not changed at all. With GST the government has make sure that same amount of tax is put, only difference is, it is now levied in the different manner. The sales may be down for any given reason but not because of GST.

In fact, due of GST we have seen the surge in sale. Our best sale has happened during Oct-Nov month this year where we registered at least 30% hike in over sales.

Do you have any plans to come in mass segment and compete with brands such as Titan Raga?

No, we don’t have any such plans because that is not our target audience at all. We will always operate above Rs 50,000 segment. We cater to premium luxury market and going forward our focus will remain the same.

Luxury watch retailing is very niche in India. How do you see this market is growing?

Yes, I do agree that it is a very limited market but this market is growing like never before because more and more people are aspiring to buy luxury products due increased per capita income. Even consumer behavior has evolved drastically; earlier largely our customer base used to be board of directors who are in the age group of above 40. But, now we find people such as mangers, team leaders they are also buying our products since they also get paid very well.

So, why don’t you launch your exclusive store now?  

Except Rolex, no luxury watch brand operates via exclusive store in India. The reason is the rental for putting up a store is very high. If you wish to open a store you need to have at least 200 pieces of stock if you want to have exclusive display. And, you have to do selling in same proportion, considering the niche market it does not seem possible.

How you would extend the brand from here? What are the plans to scale up the distribution in online and offline space?

We would be keen to expand at luxury locations such as five star properties other than regular retail spaces; however, the only condition is, if any of the existing retail partners either Ethos or Helios should be present or ready to expand on such locations.

At last, kindly shed light on your growth plans?

We are focusing on bringing newer models to India and we also plan to extend the number of stores. By next year we would be adding at least 20 new stores in our existing store count. We would also like to present at airport location.

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