American Marketer


Longines cuts ribbon of first US shop-in-shop at Tourneau flagship

January 26, 2012


NEW YORK - Swiss watchmaker Longines debuted its inaugural shop-in-shop in the Tourneau Time Machine store during a party at the New York location earlier this week.

The store marks Longines’ first shop-in-shop in the United States and helps to emphasize its products amongst the numerous luxury timepieces in the store. Inviting highly-valued customers from both the Longines and Tourneau brands likely helped strengthen both brands relationships’ with customers.

“Retailers increase their connection with their current clientele as well as their target market when they tailor specialty events for them,” said Dalia Strum, president of Dalia Inc., New York.

“It creates an appreciation for the brand, because they are making an extra effort to connect with their consumers as well as offering them exclusivity to an event created just for them,” she said.

Ms. Strum is not affiliated with Longines or Tourneau, but agreed to comment as a third-party expert.

Longines and Torneau were not able to comment before press deadline.

New model
The Longines store is located at the bottom of the escalator in the Torneau Time Machine shop.

The shop-in-shop features white enamel walls and floors, making it hard for shoppers to miss while browsing the retailer’s countertops.

Additionally, the Longines signature blue name is backlit with neon blue lighting to further draw eyes to the boutique.

Longines has strategically placed most of its timepieces in the store at eye-level rather than the traditional counter top glass cases.

This allows consumers to more closely observe the details of the products.

Within the dark wood cases, the watches are spotlighted by lights from above which are easier on consumers' eyes than backlighting.

The collections currently featured in the shop include the newest models of the Longines Master Collection Moon Phases, Longines DolceVita, and The Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph.

The check-out area is located at one of two counters in the center of the store. It is highlighted by a large Longines advertisement that features brand ambassador tennis player and activist Stefanie Graff.

Additionally, for consumers who browsed the store but were not ready to buy a timepiece, Longines has placed its catalogs at the entrances and the middle counter.

Face time
Longines opened the store amongst a sea of press and loyal Tourneau and Longines customers on the night of Jan. 24.

Brand ambassador Ms. Graff welcomed guests and cut the ribbon for Longines along with Tourneau CEO Jim Seuss.

The party was co-hosted by Details magazine, which recently partnered with Longines on a specially-curated collection.

The Details collection is currently featured in the shop-in-shop with a small window decal on the display case alerting consumers to the collection.

Guests of the event were given the chance to win a HydroConquest watch in stainless steel with a blue dial in exchange for a small donation.

The donations were given to Ms. Graff’s “Children for Tomorrow” charity.

Children for Tomorrow is a nonprofit organization that looks to aid children and families in areas that have been affected by war, persecution or organized crime.

Overall, the partnership between Longines and Tourneau was formed around the two brands' commitment to elegance and tradition, per Longines.

Both brands are set to benefit from the partnership as well as from the launch party.

Affluent consumers are increasingly looking for a personal relationship with their favorite brands with opportunities brought on by launch events or holiday parties.

This is particularly important for Longines, which does not have any of its own retail stores in the U.S., to interact and engage consumers on a more personal level.

Indeed, the watchmaker would be smart to not invite too many people or host an abundance of events since affluent consumers will then see the events as common and quickly lose interest.

“This added benefit resonates extremely well with affluent consumers, as they feel they are receiving preferential treatment,” Ms. Strum said.

“[However], this can't be over-used because [that] removes the glitz and glam from these exclusive events,” she said.

Final Take
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York