Swatch Group has reportedly walked away from talks with Amazon that might have led to it legitimately selling its watches on the global platform.
The Swiss giant has been discussing how Amazon can stamp out sales of genuine watches by unauthorised retailers via its marketplace. It also wanted much tighter policing over the sale of counterfeit watches.
It was thought that progress on these and other issues would lead to Swatch Group watch brands, which include Omega, Longines and Tissot, would lead to the watch brands starting to sell on Amazon.
But in a report in the Wall Street Journal this week, Swatch Group chief executive Nick Hayek is said to have abandoned negotiations after failing to secure sufficient reassurance from Amazon. “We add value to them but they should also add value to the brand,” he said.
LVMH, which owns TAG Heuer, Zenith, Hublot and Bulgari, is also unconvinced that Amazon is the right environment for its luxury line up. “We believe the business of Amazon does not fit with LVMH, full stop,” the group’s chief financial officer told analysts last year.
An Amazon spokeswoman told WSJ that it has been working hard to tackle sales of knock off products on its site, and has automated systems in place that constantly scan for counterfeiters and remove them. “We take this fight very seriously,” she said.
Controlling retailers from one country — authorised or otherwise — selling into another country where it does not have rights, is not an issue that Amazon wants to tackle. The company has consistently said this is a matter that needs to be addressed by the brands and its retailers.