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EXCLUSIVE: Zenith refines UK channel with withdrawal of one-third of authorised dealerships

Julien Tournaire

Zenith will trim its UK dealer network by almost one third this year from around 35 today to 25 by the end of the consolidation.

The aim is to give the remaining authorised dealers fewer competitors, and encourage them to invest more in the brand, according to Julien Tornare, chief executive officer of Zenith.

Mr Tornare was speaking to WatchPro at Baselworld, and unveiled a root and branch plan to make Zenith fit for the 21st century.

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He would not elaborate on which partners will retain their status. Currently the network comprises major multiples including eight Watches of Switzerland doors, two Fraser Hart, five Beaverbrooks and five Ernest Jones; plus independents including Rox, Hamilton & Inches and Ogdens.

Mr Tornare was promoted to CEO of the LVMH brand in summer last year, and has been asked by his boss Jean-Claude Biver to modernise a watchmaker whose best days have been behind it.

“Zenith must not be a museum brand,” said Mr Tornare. “We need to connect with the modern market,” he added.

The company has no current plans to open a directly-owned Zenith boutique in the UK, but did open a pop-up in Paris in November last year.

Tags : Julien TornarezenithZenith; watches
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder

1 Comment

  1. The commercial desirability of giving authorised distributors fewer competitors is understandable. But where an authorised dealership system morphs into a selective distribution system issues can arise. This is because competition law requires that a selective distribution system must be open to all retailers which satisfy the objective requirements of the system. It follows that a selective distributor (retailer) cannot be axed simply to reduce competitors.

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