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Grey market discounting kills-off authorized online retailer Troverie

Troverie

A collaboration between some of America’s most respected family jewelers burst into the light in the summer of 2018 as Troverie launched as an online store front for luxury watches.

It was backed by 26 leading brick and mortar retailers and authorized as a third party seller by brands including Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Bvlgari, Girard-Perregaux, Hamilton, Longines, Movado, Nomos, Omega, Raymond Weil, Tag Heuer, Ulysse Nardin, and Zenith.

This week it informed customers and stakeholders that the business is being wound up, with operations shutting down within days.

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The problem, it seems, is that the online world is where customers expect to find a bargain, and Troverie — under strict guidelines from brands — could not play that game.

In a message to customers, the team says that, “While Troverie broadly received high acclaim from the industry and superb client reviews, it was difficult and expensive to find prospective customers willing to pay near full retail price instead of the deep discounts available through unauthorized channels.”

There is no mention of Coronavirus in the statement, but with the pandemic decimating sales for the major retailers that had previously supported Troverie, it is likely that any investment that might have saved the company could not be secured.

“As founders, we are incredibly proud of what we have built and what we have contributed to the luxury watch landscape.  We wish to thank our loyal team, our investors and our advisors for making this possible,” the note signed by chief executive Fred Levin ends.

The original list of retailers that worked with Troverie.

5 Comments

  1. Sad to see any business close even a competitor but this really is going to be an incredibly challenging time in our industry for in my opinion for several years. Hey Rob would love to provide my thoughts and history in a WatchPro interview! Darryl Randall CEO SwissLuxury.Com

  2. I feel bad for Troverie indeed, but this is hardly surprising. I know the people behind Troverie and as I helped them launch back in 2018, I also warned them about the severity of this exact issue:

    https://www.ablogtowatch.com/troverie-merge-e-commerce-convenience-with-in-person-dealer-service-luxury-watches/

    Troverie and their stakeholders nevertheless felt that enough “casual” (i.e. not savvy about getting the lowest prices) consumers would eschew the widely available discounts in favor of the “safety” of buying from an authorized dealers. It turned out that they entirely underestimated the veracity of online discounts and the sophistication of consumers. It is a complicated issue but I don’t see Troverie’s death as being caused by COVID-19, but rather that what may have been only light remaining support was entirely removed once retailers in the US needed to temporarily shut down at this time.

  3. This says a lot about the difference between price and value perception by the customer. Providing value (as perceived by the customer, not the brand) is key for any distribution channel. It’s sad, but Troverie did not provide value to its customers and tried to impose a model online which is already stuggling offline. The question to be asked is: what does value mean for customer today? (and for each customer segment).

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Tags : Troverie
Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder