Audemars Piguet's new CEO's mystery shopping in the luxury watch showroom. Why? - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Audemars Piguet's new CEO's mystery shopping in the luxury watch showroom. Why?

Bloomberg | By
Mar 04, 2024 05:23 PM IST

“I’ve always believed the best leaders are the ones who learn and not the ones who know,” said Ilaria Resta, new CEO of Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet.

Ilaria Resta, the newly appointed chief executive of Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet, adopted a unique approach before announcement of her occupying the top post, engaging in mystery shopping.

Ilaria Resta new chief executive officer of Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet.(Audemars Piguet Holding SA)
Ilaria Resta new chief executive officer of Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet.(Audemars Piguet Holding SA)

The Swiss-Italian executive, with a career spanning over two decades at Procter & Gamble, visited the brand's Geneva boutique incognito, accompanied by a friend. Concealing her true identity and role, Resta told the salesperson that she has limited knowledge about the company and its watches, which typically carry an average price of around $56,497.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

Before she visited the Audemars Piguet boutique, Ilaria Resta admitted to feeling intimidated by the world of high-end Swiss watchmakers.

“I’ve always believed the best leaders are the ones who learn and not the ones who know,” she said in an interview in Le Brassus, Switzerland.

ALSO READ- Ex-Google employee's ordeal after working for 10 years at tech giant: ‘Cried my eyes out when…'

CEO Resta has a tough time ahead: Analysts

1. Resta faces the challenge of navigating through changing market dynamics, especially the declining demand for pricey timepieces like the Royal Oak, which had surged during the pandemic, say experts.

2. The increased interest in smaller independent Swiss brands poses a competitive challenge. Brands like F P Journe, MB&F, and others have gained popularity, diverting attention from established luxury models.

ALSO READ- Flipkart-backed logistics startup BlackBuck plans $300 million IPO: What we know

3. External factors such as higher interest rates, a strong franc, and geopolitical tensions in Europe and the Middle East are weighing on the Swiss watch market, impacting demand for new watches and affecting second-hand prices.

4. Resta's role includes ensuring Audemars Piguet remains independent, even as potential suitors like LVMH express interest.

5. Experts say Resta will need to assess the effectiveness of Audemars Piguet's shift to selling directly to consumers through its boutiques. As this transition is largely completed, she must focus on sustaining positive momentum through organic growth.

ALSO READ- IBM's message to employees: ‘Raise your hand’ and volunteer for layoffs

What are Ilaria Resta plans for Audemars Piguet?

1. Audemars Piguet's new CEO aims to stabilise the brand and leverage its transition from a watchmaker to a luxury house, according to industry analysts.

2. The company is expanding facilities in Le Brassus and constructing a new plant in Meyrin near Geneva, focusing on maintaining production quality rather than significant increases in output this year.

3. Resta emphasises doubling down on complications, material quality, finishing, and craftsmanship, with prices reflecting costs, research, development, and labour.

ALSO READ- Swiss FM gifts Jaishankar 'Mission to Sun' Swatch. Its link to 1st space watch

4. Audemars Piguet CEO plans to extend its industry-first service programme, guaranteeing replacement or repair of watches stolen or damaged within two years of purchase, to watches bought in 2024.

5. The company is also working on a certification programme for buying and selling its own used watches, following Rolex's move into officially certifying used models in 2022.

(Inputs from Bloomberg)

Unlock a world of Benefits with HT! From insightful newsletters to real-time news alerts and a personalized news feed – it's all here, just a click away!- Login Now! Catch all the Latest Technology Mobile, Gadgets,Tech News from India and around the world
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Follow the latest breaking news and developments from India and around the world with Hindustan Times' newsdesk. From politics and policies to the economy and the environment, from local issues to national events and global affairs, we've got you covered.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, April 25, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On