Hublot will not continue down the same path as Audemars Piguet and close out partnerships with retailers unless they commit to opening branded stores.
In an interview with WatchPro to mark 100 days until this year’s Cricket World Cup, for which Hublot is official timekeeper, CEO Ricardo Guadalupe says that he will not insist on retail partners opening or converting to monobrand stores.
Although monobrands have been important in breaking into emerging markets across Asia and large parts of North America, Mr Guadalupe does not think that one size fits all.
He expects around half of all Hublot doors around the world being branded. “I see a 50-50 split and we see the strength of both models in different markets,” he says.
In North America, Hublot is concentrating its firepower on its own stores, and is cutting doors with multibrand retail partners. At Baselworld last year, Hublot North America president Jean-François Sberro, told WatchPro today that around one-third of the current authorized dealers are likely to lose their agencies and he was looking to grow the number of directly owned and operated stores from 15 to 20 in the USA and Canada.
Even if half of all doors in the future become branded as Hublot, that will not mean retail partners are cut out of the deal. “We will look at opening more franchise stores with partners,” Mr Guadalupe reveals.