IGS Group, based in Lucerne, Switzerland, has bought 11 Kurz stores from Bucherer.
IGS owns Carat, a 30-store chain of jewelers specializing in volume brands like Fossil, Cluse and Michael Kors, and the acquisition of Kurz gives it a foothold in the luxury market.
Kurz sells watches from the likes of Omega, Glashütte Original, IWC, Breitling and Tudor, and is considered a tier down from the main Bucherer showrooms anchored by Patek Philippe and Rolex, but a step up for IGS.
Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Bucherer says the plan to sell Kurz was developed long before the Coronavirus pandemic, and is part of a wider strategy of strengthening the company’s business in the United States where its Torneau stores are being redeveloped.
Bucherer 1888 is the brand we have to focus on,” a spokesperson tells WatchPro. “It is quite natural that a group reviews its portfolio from time to time and adjusts to new strategic goals.”
Bucherer has now reopened all of its showrooms in Europe, with the exception of the UK stores, which are expected to open on June 15.
Tourneau has reopened five stores in Florida, one in Georgia and four in Hawaii. A further 17 remain closed.
“Denmark, Austria, France, Switzerland and Germany are back in business and we saw long lines waiting to get in,” Bucherer says, although it concedes that the queues were partly caused by the need to limit the number of people allowed in its stores at one time.
“Overall, the reopening experiences have been really promising,” the spokesperson suggests.