Ralph Lauren abandons plans to build wholesale-to-retail channel for watches

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Ralph Lauren has postponed plans to target retailers in the UK with its collections of luxury watches.

WatchPro, which was given a presentation by Ralph Lauren at Baselworld about plans to target British jewellers for its watches, has learned that the plan has been shelved.

“Due to the latest change on the top management at Ralph Lauren, the strategy to open wholesalers has been postponed to an unknown date,” a spokesperson for the company said.

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The fashion house’s watches will instead remain on sale only in its own boutiques.

Ralph Lauren launched its first watch collection in 2009 in partnership with Richemont Group and using movements from Piaget and other group brands.

The watches are typically sold only in Ralph Lauren boutiques with five-figure price tags, but more affordable collections were developed for 2017.

WatchPro was told the watches, which were due to be unveiled in April or May, would have been pitched to multiples including Ernest Jones and Goldsmiths at retail prices starting at around £1500.

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