What a year it has been already for Jean-Baptiste Maillard. In just January of this year, he was made managing director of Chopard UK, taking the reins of a company that posted double-digit year-on-year growth.
His appointment tracks an impressive trajectory. He has only been at Chopard for five years and cuts a young and energetic figure – exactly the sort of man who is going to make things happen for the brand.
Certainly you sense the stars are aligning for Chopard as this year also sees it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the iconic watch range Happy Sport. “I think that 2013 is a special year for Chopard,” he says. “[The anniversary] is a great achievement for Chopard. To celebrate the Happy Sport we are offering a unique bespoke service to customise your own Happy Sport.”
All fun stuff of course, and just the sort of thing that he will leverage to enthuse shoppers in the coming year.
He says his ambition is a little more wide-ranging. “Chopard UK has been presenting a strong and healthy growth year after year. The UK market is, however, changing and it will be important to stay ahead to continue gaining market share whilst supporting our existing distribution.”
And beyond that he will be looking forward to expanding the retail footprint. “We have recently secured an additional space for our boutique on Bond Street.”
It’s all coming together. But as Jean-Baptiste says, it was always on the cards – or in those stars perhaps. “I was born in Reims which is the city of Champagne. Through my education, friends and parents, I was predestined to work in this industry. Most of my friends are now still involved in it.”
He remains true to that education and says he is keen to highlight the central tenets of the brand and will ensure it “keeps providing an exclusive and perfect service to our final clients”.
Chopard UK managing director Jean-Baptiste Maillard was a CMJ Brand Champion in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.