Swatch buyers in China hesitate amid higher prices, says CEO

Swatch buyers in China hesitate amid higher prices, says CEO
Swatch buyers in China hesitate amid higher prices, says CEO
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Per

Reuters

Published in

Apr 1 2024

The Chinese market is expected to remain difficult until the end of the year, with consumers hesitant about higher prices, said the chief executive of Swiss watch group Swatch Group.

Reuters

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek told the newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung that China still has great potential, but consumers are waiting a long time before making purchases.

“They have also become more price sensitive because in many areas there have been excessive price increases. I estimate that the Chinese market will remain difficult until the end of the year,” Hayek said in an interview published over the weekend.

Swatch makes high-quality Omega, Tissot and Longines watches, as well as the eponymous plastic models for the mass market. Hayek, whose family controls 43% of Swatch’s voting shares, was asked if he would like to take the company private.

“That would certainly be best for the company’s long-term development. But unfortunately, it is not possible to go private without taking on huge debts,” said Hayek, whose sister Nayla is president of Swatch. “And we don’t like debt at all.”

The newspaper also asked the CEO whether his nephew, Marc Hayek, who is expected to be elected to the company’s board in May, would eventually replace him as chief executive.

We know that Marc is committed to the company, is passionate, does a very good job and represents our corporate culture. But whether he actually wants to run this company at some point or whether he has other priorities is another question.

“My sister and I will not ask him to take control in any way,” he said. “That’s his decision.”

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Tags: Swatch buyers China hesitate higher prices CEO

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