Founded in 1888, the family company Bucherer has one of the most distinguished traditions in the watch and jewellery industry. In this article, RLI speaks with Jörg Baumann, Member of the Group Management at Bucherer to learn more about the heritage of the Swiss company and find out what the future holds.
Bucherer 1888 is home to an exclusive range of watches from some of the world’s most prestigious brands as well as watch creations from from Carl F. Bucherer, the in-house manufacture. The company also designs exquisite jewellery collections and are always on hand to custom-make individual pieces of jewellery for its clients. The brand is currently present at 36 exclusive locations in Europe, with 17 stores in Switzerland, 10 in Germany, a flagship store in Vienna, the world’s largest watch and jewellery store in Paris, a store in Copenhagen, Denmark and six boutiques in London.
In January 2018, Bucherer also took over the US luxury watch retailer Tourneau, which has 28 stores across the US, and in summer 2018, Bucherer took over another establishment – Baron & Leeds – with its four luxury watch and jewellery stores in Hawaii. “Bucherer continues to expand to new territories, as highlighted by our recent acquisitions. But we are also refreshing our core brand Bucherer 1888 to position it as a contemporary luxury player,” explains Jörg Baumann, Member of Group Management at Bucherer. “We want to show our relevance for today’s customers and future customers alike.”
In recent months the company has launched new flagships in Geneva and Zurich. When designing new stores they always consider the local culture which can even be very different in the same country. The Geneva boutique is a very elegant store located in a prominent historic building of the city, whilst Zurich is Switzerland’s dynamic business and cultural centre, so for this store the company planned a contemporary boutique with very bold architecture.
“The one thing that these flagships have in common is the highest attention to detail: we always follow our values like impeccable hospitality and an outstanding offer of the finest names/brands in watches and outstanding jewellery,” explains Baumann. In the coming months there is an exciting upcoming project in London’s Covent Garden as well as refreshments of the Düsseldorf and Hamburg boutiques along with opening of a boutique in the legendary KaDeWe luxury department store in Berlin.
At 131 years old, the company still continues to develop new products and initiatives to stay at the cutting edge. A recent example of this is the Bucherer BLUE collection which is a key driver that adds innovation and freshness to the market with its amazing watch partners. “Bucherer BLUE has become a success beyond our wildest dreams. This proves that fresh offers, out-of-the-box-thinking and differentiation are as relevant as ever. This concept is a wonderful playground to be bold, try out new things and reach out to younger audiences that look for exceptional products.”
Social media has become a key channel to reach and connect with people in the modern world. The team observe huge interest from collectors but also first-time buyers evaluating their watch partner. They follow a 360-degree approach – and tell the same story with all their channels and instore to transport a consistent message throughout the customer journey.
“It is integrated as part of our communication mix and it is a perfect platform for fresh storytelling and engaging customers. It offers options to connect with our consumers that didn’t exist before social media. We observe that this is a channel used by younger cohorts, especially the very important Instagram,” says Baumann.
Baumann believes that customers remain loyal because the company has worked hard since the very beginning to establish trust in the brand. This trust he says is built on competence, credibility and an outstanding reputation. The company also permanently strive to always be a source of inspiration for its customers and they do this through their own passion for the business. Along with this, they continue to offer a great choice, perfect service and sector expertise. Innovation, out of the box approaches and partnerships with virtually all watch producers that go long back in history are some of the reasons that Bucherer 1888 has enjoyed success over such a sustained period of time.
So what lies ahead and what does Baumann perceive to be the greatest challenge facing the company as it looks forward? “Our vision is to redefine the luxury shopping experience and turn it into a journey of discovery. We think this is a huge challenge. This literally concerns all touchpoints, physical and also increasingly, digital. We look forward to this challenge in the coming years and maintaining our strong market position,” concludes Baumann.