Tourneau is about to see some massive adjustments. Following the watch retailer’s 2018 acquisition by Swiss watch retailer Bucherer, a method for the storied firm is starting to fall into place.
WWD can solely reveal that Tourneau — a minimum of the identify — shall be no extra. The firm will transition to the Bucherer moniker. Starting this summer season, Tourneau’s 31-store community throughout the U.S. shall be rebranded with the hybrid identify “Tourneau Bucherer” for a one-year interval. Thereafter, all firm branding will pivot to the Bucherer identify. This consists of packaging and all customer-facing model messaging.
The Tourneau acquisition represents Bucherer’s first push exterior of Europe, the place it holds a community of 36 shops. Known for its luxe assortment of superb jewellery and watches, the corporate had wider international ambitions and has now taken stake on the earth’s largest luxurious market. In shopping for Tourneau, Bucherer will deliver its namesake superb jewellery line in addition to the Bucherer Blue line of watches to the U.S. for the primary time.
“I think the biggest change is that, when I joined the company, we were in a turnaround mode and more focused on the short and midterm. There is no better acquirer for Tourneau than Bucherer — the leading retailer of fine watches and jewelry in Europe. What’s shifted is that now we have the ability to plan not just for the midterm, but also the long term,” mentioned Ira Melnitsky, chief govt officer for Tourneau and president of Bucherer USA, who led the corporate’s acquisition on behalf of its prior proprietor, the personal fairness agency Leonard Green & Partners.
“This has been something that’s about three years in the works — it’s not something we took lightly. We believe in the ability for the leading retailer in Europe to now trade in our category in the U.S. and speak to our clients is really an advantage — that includes people traveling from international locations or who have spent time in Europe,” Melnitsky mentioned of the identify change and technique concerned.
The firm’s identify change coincides with many different initiatives that symbolize a brand new period for Tourneau. There is the whole renovation of its well-known 57th Street Time Machine retailer, the rollout of further shops and a brand new three way partnership with one in all horology’s greatest gamers.
This July, Bucherer will reveal its three way partnership with Tudor Watches and Rolex with two co-operated boutiques in New York’s Meatpacking District. Rolex additionally has a retailer on Fifth Avenue in a three way partnership with Wempe in addition to a boutique in Hudson Yards.
The transfer represents a brand new luxurious push within the Meatpacking District, which after a interval of mass-market retail is returning to a higher-end attraction. New tenants there embrace Bally, Loro Piana and Hermès. Many say they’ve been lured there by experiential neighbors like superb eating places and The Whitney Museum of American Art.
“I’m a New Yorker and I think all of us New Yorkers know the Meatpacking District well. It’s increasingly more luxurious with brands being pulled down there. We love the location — it took a long time of us looking and I think it’s a place that’s underserved for our category,” Melnitsky mentioned.
Tourneau is at present renovating about seven shops forward of its identify change, with the intent to revitalize its complete retail community. Among the shops first on the agenda is its well-known 57th Street “Time Machine” flagship location in New York City — recognized by vacationers and New Yorkers alike for its facade of clocks displaying instances from internationally.
A renovated Time Machine retailer will open on the finish of August — with a model new facade. Melnitsky mentioned the clocks shall be gone, however declined to disclose specifics round what is going to change them.
“The clocks are gone, but there will be an interesting new version. [The clocks] were a debated point, but I think we will bring it back in a new and interesting way that’s very high tech,” Melnitsky mentioned. The retailer’s façade has additionally been moved six toes ahead into the sidewalk.
Melnitsky mentioned brick-and-mortar shops will proceed to be an necessary aspect in Tourneau-Bucherer’s omnichannel method to retail and intends to roll out further shops within the coming years. He declined to disclose what number of, or how the corporate’s gross sales break down between in-person and on-line — describing that metric as “murky” for the reason that two experiences typically inform each other.
While Tourneau has lengthy operated an e-commerce website, the corporate took a digital pivot throughout the pandemic when it logged greater than 3,000 digital gross sales appointments with shoppers.
In line with what different jewellery and watch firms are reporting, Melnitsky mentioned Tourneau’s common promoting level skewed upward throughout the pandemic. He mentioned the corporate has seen regular “significant, organic double-digit growth,” over the previous couple of years however declined to disclose specifics concerning projections as a part of the merger.
“Of course, like every company, our goal in the U.S. is to continue to deliver and exceed expectations,” he mentioned. “I think a great marriage is when two companies with strengths come together. Bucherer brings an incredibly high level, elegant Swiss approach steeped in warmth and hospitality in Europe. In the U.S. Tourneau brings an American entrepreneurial spirit. There will be a very constant and open dialog between the town groups to lend those approaches together and bring something unique. We will learn from each other in very positive ways.”