Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Interview with Raymond Weil CEO about Canadian distrbution change

Canadian Jeweller (CJ): Cloriano in Montreal has been your distributor in
Canada for decades. Why have you decided to make this change?

Olivier Bernheim (OB): It is true; we were partners for many years. Recently
it appeared to us that the time had come for a more personal commitment. We
felt that in order to achieve new objectives regarding the brand’s
development and sustainable growth in Canada, this was the necessary change.
In addition, it is the natural evolution for a company whose leitmotif is
‘Independence is a state of mind.’

CJ: Will the distribution be handled by the U.S. office or from Geneva? Will
any watches be warehoused in Canada?

OB: Distribution will be handled out of the Raymond Weil Genève US office by
a dedicated Canadian team. Watches will be available to the market and press
via the New York office.

CJ: Will Nouran Chahinian be continuing to represent the brand in Canada? If
not, who will the new representative be?

OB: Mr. Chahinian will no longer be an authorized representative for the
brand. The Canadian market will be represented by the following: Pierre
Bernheim, director of international sales and grandson of Raymond Weil;
Daniel Lepage, general sales agent; and Dan Lewis, western sales agent.
Between them, Daniel Lepage and Dan Lewis have 22 years of experience with
Raymond Weil.
CJ: What will be the main change for retailers? Advantages? Disadvantages?

OB: We have a lot in common with our Canadian retailers, as we are both
family-owned and run. We share a common goal: to build the future of our
brand. Together, we can develop the business and strengthen the achievement
of new objectives regarding our development and sustainable growth in the
Canadian market. The establishment of our structure for Canada will allow
for more direct communication, a better understanding of global initiatives,
more proximity, reactivity and develop a concrete foundation on which to
build our long-term partnerships.

CJ: Will delivery, shipment and payment terms change?

OB: Any changes will only be based on the necessity to enhance
service and

CJ: Will you be offering any new retailer support programs in terms
of POS
merchandising, in-store boutiques, etc?

OB: We will be implementing the universal brand image throughout Canada.
This does include in-store boutiques, merchandising, marketing and
advertising. We have already begun this phase and will continue the
enhancement throughout all retail locations. This is the first and one of
the most exciting elements of the new Raymond Weil Canada exclusive
CJ: How has the brand changed over the past five years, in terms of product
offering and price points?

OB: Raymond Weil stands out for its dynamic and pioneering character,
constantly striving to create timepieces, which represent the brand’s values
of independence, creativity and watchmaking savoir-faire at attractive
prices. The strategy adopted in recent years has contributed to Raymond
Weil’s impact on the watch-making world. Key factors in the firm’s success
include the constant renewal of its product range, introduction of new,
increasingly sophisticated mechanical timepieces, and the strengthening of
collections positioned at the lower end of the price range.

CJ: Going forward, what can we expect from the brand in 2011? What are your
plans for growing the Raymond Weil business in Canada?

OB: Canada was among the first countries (out of 90) that sell Raymond Weil
watches today; having established a Canadian distribution in 1979, it has
long been part of the brand history. Today, our family is committed to
strengthening the luxury watchmaking legitimacy of the brand by creating an
even more appealing image and developing new models which meet higher
quality standards that reflect the evolution and creativity of Raymond Weil.
Through the implementation of a more selective distribution policy in
Canada, we aim to enhance our presence and market visibility, while offering
refined luxury timepieces at attractive prices.

CJ: You launched a new ladies model in 2009. Where do you see the future of
Raymond Weil watch designs and are there other new collections planned? What
is your biggest seller in Canada?

OB: Consistent with international trends, Canada’s best selling collections
are currently Noemia and Freelancer. Our timepieces stand out for their high
quality precious materials and their emphasis on aesthetic appeal. With an
already strong core of men’s and ladies’ classic timepieces, Raymond Weil
continues to develop a modern and diversified brand by refining the
horological segment of its new and existing mechanical timepieces.

CJ: How many retail outlets do you have now in Canada? Do you plan to
increase/reduce that number?

OB: Currently we have opened 80 points of sale throughout Canada. In order
to build on our exclusivity, Raymond Weil Canada will look to promote those
accounts. It will also create some new partnerships that we believe possess
a strong growth potential in regions or cities where we can expand

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