Hublot will continue to consolidate its network of retail partners in North America over the coming 2-3 years as it concentrates its firepower on opening more of its own corporate stores.
Jean-François Sberro, who was recently promoted from managing director to president of Hublot North America, told WatchPro today that around one-third of the current authorized dealers are likely to lose their agencies.
The company currently has 15 of its own boutiques in the USA and Canada, and intends to grow to grow to 20 in the by 2020.
The consolidation of the authorized dealer network, which has already seen the number of Hublot partners fall from around 55 to 40 in recent years, will continue.
In a wide-ranging interview that WatchPro will publish in April, Mr Sberro said that multi-brand watch and jewellery retailers in secondary cities have been unable to keep pace with the required investment during a three year depression for the luxury watch industry in North America. At the same time, all directly-owned and run Hublot boutiques have been profitable.
Mr Sberro also hinted that there will be significant developments with Hublot’s digital marketing and ecommerce strategy in 2018. The company does not currently sell direct to consumer online, but this looks likely to change as the brand takes greater control of its sales channel in North America.