Ulysse Nardin has started selling directly to consumers online in the United States and Britain.
The company, which is owned by Kering Group, brought forward the launch of its ecommerce platform to June 3 in response to the current upturn in online shopping brought on by the lock down.
Authorised dealers for brands that start competing with them online never take the news well, particularly if limited edition watches are held back for their own dotcoms.
This is precisely the case with Ulysse Nardin, which is launching a Diver X Nemo Point watch exclusively online for the remainder of June.
“Selling online comes as a natural course in our desire of rejuvenating the brand image,” explains Françoise Bezzola, Chief Marketing Officer at Ulysse Nardin, although she is keen to keep authorised dealers on side, adding: “With an increasing visual identity for the last two years, followed by the implementation of new boutique concepts in Geneva, Shanghai, Dubai and Beijing, e-commerce was evident and the next logical step. Today, we explore a new digital path. However, it is crucial to do it in a good cooperation with the traditional multi-brand retail network, to make the online experience as seamless as possible and also do it by offering exclusive products whose rarity will justify the online purchase.”
Stéphane Carlier, Chief Digital Officer of Ulysse Nardin, is also keen to stress that the UN website should not steal sales from retail partners.
“E-commerce will not cannibalize sales in brick-and-mortar stores. On the contrary, we see it as a first approach to final customers, an additional factor that will generate more drive to store, to both retailers’ shops and Ulysse Nardin boutiques, for a personalised advice. E-commerce is also a step forward to helping our retailers increase their notoriety,” he explains.