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Traditional watchmakers like Fossil Group were already seeing decreasing sales in traditional watches before the pandemic. Government mandates intended to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), forcing the closure of retail stores and halting travel and tourism worldwide, rapidly accelerated this negative trend in 2020.
While high-end luxury watch brands like Rolex and Cartier have enjoyed growth in recent years, along with the wider luxury goods industry, sales of basic and mid-priced watches have declined as a result of shrinking foot traffic to shopping centres and department stores, compounded by the fast rise of smartwatches – especially the Apple Watch.
To combat its mounting challenges and attempt to grow sales again, Fossil has outlined four strategic priorities:
• Tailor its product offerings and distribution strategies to local markets and utilise digital marketing to tell effective brand stories
• Improve digital capabilities to drive direct-to-consumer and e-commerce sales
• Accelerate sales growth in China and India in accordance with these markets’ emerging middle classes
• Continue to implement New World Fossil 2.0, the company’s plan to improve profitability and enhance competitiveness by reengineering its supply chain
The effects of the pandemic have further weighed on Fossil’s sales, making it imperative to deliver on these key priorities, accelerating the importance of e-commerce, digital device use, and the role of China and other markets in Asia Pacific in furthering sales growth.
At the same time, the pandemic has catalysed several larger trends already impacting how consumers work, shop, and live in 2021 and beyond, including the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends of 2021, that Fossil must navigate as it seeks to reignite its business amid an increasingly challenging environment for traditional watches.
To learn more about Fossil Group Inc, its competitive environment, and its prospects amid the pandemic and beyond, please see Fossil’s Company Profile.