In an effort to capture the value of a greater presence in one of the world’s key luxury watch markets, Swiss retailer Bucherer has officially announced the acquisition of USA-based Tourneau, LLC. Considered to be the largest watch retailer in America, Tourneau – after reporting a decline in sales for some time – found itself at the center rumors hinting that the company might eventually seek a buyer. Although the terms have not been disclosed, Bucherer shared a press release earlier today in order to publicly confirm the purchase from Green Equity Investors IV, L.P.. While this can certainly result in Carl F. Bucherer products becoming more readily accessible and heavily marketed in the United States, it’s also another sign of a Swiss retailer potentially gaining further control of watch distribution outside of Switzerland.
According to Bucherer CEO Guido Zumbühl, the move to acquire Tourneau is considered an opportunity to “immediately introduce the Bucherer brand to millions of potential customers in one of the most important global watch and jewelry markets.” And aside from Carl F. Bucherer watches, the same move could also benefit Bucherer’s line of fine jewelry. What that means for the Tourneau brand is unclear but at this point, it wouldn’t be absurd to wonder if certain Tourneau locations across the U.S. will eventually be overhauled and re-branded as Bucherer retail spaces.
Guido Zumbühl also stated, “We will do everything to continue to provide our local and international customers the very best shopping experience both online and in our stores and are delighted that Tourneau’s management will join our team to ensure both continuity and to help us drive the future success of Bucherer within the U.S.” Although we can’t exactly assign value judgment here, this may be seen as part of a larger trend of major markets not having local distribution ownership. In this case, the result could mean more revenue isolated specifically within the Swiss watch industry system as opposed to distribution among local partners. Nevertheless, both entities appear enthusiastic about the acquisition and you can be sure that aBlogtoWatch will keep a close eye on how this story develops in the coming months. bucherer.com