December 16, 2013
Swiss timepiece manufacturer Bovet 1822 added its fourth boutique worldwide Dec. 12 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Ritz-Carlton Central Park, New York.
The new boutique is located at 50 Central Park South and will feature fifty timepieces that are exclusive to this location. The three other Bovet boutiques are located in Moscow, Berlin and Baku in Azerbaijan, indicating that the latest addition will open the brand up to a much wider audience of consumers.
"In my opinion, the strategy behind the location selection for the Bovet boutique is two-fold," said Taylor Rains, account executive at Rawle Murdy Associates, Charleston, SC.
"First of all, there is the association with the Ritz Carlton brand – an obvious benefit for any luxury product.," he said. "Secondly, the location itself plays a critical factor. New York is a shopper’s destination.
"By placing a luxury boutique within a luxury New York hotel, Bovet is increasing the likelihood of exposure to its key market."
Mr. Rains is not affiliated with Bovet, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Bovet was unable to comment by press deadline.
At the launch event, Pascal Raffy, owner of Bovet, discussed his commitment to the Artists for Peace and Justice, a nonprofit organization that supports communities in Haiti through programs in education, healthcare and dignity. Bovet has embarked on a multimillion-dollar funding partnership with the group.
The watchmaker's small retail presence is made up for with a horology heritage that stretches back 190 years.
From Amadeo Amadeo series
The 50 timepieces available at the New York boutique will not be available anywhere in the world and are engraved to commemorate the launch. Entering the U.S. market with a limited-edition collection likely will attract the attention of watch collectors, which will in turn boost the brand's recognition.
Other watchmakers have recently expanded their U.S. retail footprint.
For example, Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille targeted affluent travelers with the debut of its second United States boutique in Las Vegas’ luxury shopping outpost, the Shops at Crystals.
The Richard Mille Las Vegas boutique officially opened Sept. 23 and joins the Beverly Hills, CA, location as the timepiece brand’s second bricks-and-mortar location in the U.S. outside of authorized retailers. Having a small retail presence enhances allure by making the brand seem more exclusive (see story).
Luxury hotels make ideal locations for pop-up shops and boutiques due to the steady traffic flow and the impulsive nature of travelers.
Sotheby’s Diamonds set up a pop-up stop Dec. 6-8 in The Carlyle Hotel, New York to stimulate interest in its latest collection during the peak shopping season (see story).
For Bovet, the new location marks a tremendous opportunity as it introduces the brand to the largest luxury market in the world.
"As the location marks the first entry into the U.S. market, Bovet has selected a retail location from where brand awareness will naturally spread to the other major shopping markets in the country," Mr. Rains said.
"Domestic visitors traveling to the city for a luxury shopping experience are likely to encounter the brand in their hotel and, upon returning home, spread word of it to their network," he said.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York