Swatch's billion dollar expansion plans for Harry Winston
Watch company set to push the diamond-encrusted boundaries
Swiss watch group, Swatch, is now creating strategies for the luxury diamond jewellery and timepiece division of Harry Winston — which it acquired for an enterprise value of $1 billion last year, including pro forma net debt of up to $250 million — an is set to nurture it to become a billion-dollar brand.
Nayla Hayek, chairwoman of the board of Swatch Group and chief executive officer of Harry Winston, is leading the expansion effort.
The growing scheme includes the planned opening this year of Harry Winston salons in Cannes, Hawaii and Las Vegas, in addition to the reopening of its Avenue Montaigne store in Paris in November.
The world's biggest watch group is also working to ramp up Harry Winston's wholesale business through its own high-end Tourbillon stores, and the Rivoli retail network in the Middle East — which it took over in 2013 — plus select independent retailers.
This year at Baselworld, Hayek confirmed to a source that she is steering the brand toward $1 billion in sales – though she does not expect that target to be reached for another five years from now.
"We feel that the brand does have the potential to one day achieve $1 billion in sales, but this growth will take time and the right economic conditions," she stated.
Besides giving Swatch Group a unique entry into the high-jewellery segment, Harry Winston has strengthened the group's presence in the key U.S. and Japanese markets. The jeweller has 26 directly operated salons worldwide.