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CTE Watch Company cruises into calmer waters

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Florida-based CTE Watch Company is cruising into calmer waters after the pandemic shut down most of the Caribbean travel industry that the distributor supplies.

The company’s president of sales, Emiliano Shnitzer-Bartocci, tells WatchPro that it supported retail partners in Caribbean islands, duty-free and cruise ships throughout the choppiness of the past 15 months with a pivot towards helping them generate sales through ecommerce and other channels.

Along with watches, CTE also supplies apparel, footwear, handbags, wallets, home goods, jewelry, and sunglasses to a vast network of retailers across North America; much of which has been fully reopened for over a year.

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“As the pandemic shut down our Caribbean and Travel-Retail/Cruise business we shifted to digital commerce,” Mr Shnitzer-Bartocci recalls.

“We started to support many retailers with certain product that they could sell online. We also started to work with a few brands in taking over some of their online business as they started to shut down and downsize staff. This brought a lot of new opportunities for us and opened the door for us to be the managers of some brands’ official e-commerce channels,” he describes.

CTE’s diverse portfolio of brands and its reach into multiple territories meant it could adapt quickly to fast-changing conditions in its different markets.

For Caribbean islands, it represents BCBG, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Festina, Fossil, ICE-Watch, Invicta, Kenneth Cole, Kronaby, Lotus, Maserati, Nautica, Puma, Reaction, Roamer, Skechers, Technomarine, Timberland, Timex and Unlisted watches.

In travel retail and cruise ships the portfolio comprises BCBG, Festina, ICE-Watch, Kenneth Cole, Kronaby, Lotus, Maserati, Nautica, Reaction, Timberland, Timex and Unlisted.

For the United States mainland CTE offers BCBG, Festina, ICE-Watch, Invicta, Kenneth Cole, Kronaby, Lotus, Maserati, Nautica, Reaction, Roamer, Technomarine, Timberland, Timex and Unlisted.

The experienced team in Dania Beach, FL, focuses its expertise on brand-building, sales, marketing and logistics to help physical and digital retailers to strengthen their operations.

Gone are the days when distributors would simply sell into retailers. Today, CTE offers a turnkey solution of products and services.

“We provide them the entire store setup depending on the brand. We provide everything from simple in-case and top of counter displays to full store build outs of a brand for a monobrand store or multibrand store concept. We work with many furniture builders around the world, and we can build out the stores down to the minutest detail,” Mr Shnitzer-Bartocci says.

“Additionally, our marketing team makes sure that the brand’s message is conveyed to the public in the correct manner based on the brand’s guidelines,” he adds.

Having supported its suppliers and customers through 15 months of turmoil, CTE is seeing Caribbean tourism return and optimism rising across the United States.

“The remainder of this year looks good, we are seeing many reactivations with retail stores. We are seeing many people happy to be reopening and looking to add brands to their store. The main opportunities that we see are from our oversees brands looking to get a foot hold in the US market and having us manage their US online stores, as well as other online channels,” Mr Shnitzer-Bartocci tells WatchPro.

The operation is looking to the future with confidence, and intends to bring even more watch, fashion and accessories brands to market. “We are always looking to add new products and brands to our portfolio. Our approach has always been to be open to new opportunities,” the entrepreneurial Mr Shnitzer-Bartocci concludes.

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