Omega has opened its own online store in the United States and said that it expects more countries will follow in the near future.
The news has been presented as part of steady march towards greater control of global sales channels direct to consumers, either online or via Omega’s own boutiques.
“Omega will continue to develop its global network of boutiques, which are still considered to be an important part of the shopping experience. However, the rollout of e-commerce will add yet another dimension which fulfils the needs of consumers,” the company states.
Omega’s British retail partners may take comfort in the fact that they already provide complete coverage of the country, which is not the case in the US. Right now, Omega watches selling on line in the UK are also a little less expensive than on the US website. A Planet Ocean 600m Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer GMT is listed in the US for $11,700 today. The same watch at Goldsmiths.co.uk costs £8320, around £500 less than a straight dollar to pound exchange rate would suggest.
Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega, says that America needs a direct to consumer e-commerce strategy to ensure the whole country has access to its watches.
“By offering online sales in the United States, Omega can now reach fans in every corner of the country. No one is restricted geographically, which will make us much more accessible. We also recognise that e-commerce is growing rapidly in the luxury sector and many of today’s consumers use it as their primary way to shop.” Mr Aeschlimann says.
Retail partners will want to know they have equal opportunities with Omega, but the company has already said it will extend its policy of launching boutique-only watches to the online world. In the US, for example, the only way to purchase the new Seamaster Planet Ocean “Michael Phelps” Limited Edition will be on the Omega website.